The deletion of 30 Grammy Categories

This year the NARAS organization has deleted 30 categories of Grammy awards in the name of streamlining and downsizing the Grammy process.The end result is the dumbing down of music as an art form, and the emphasis on music as a strictly commercial entity. You will not see pop music lumped into one Grammy category any time soon. There is too much money involved. Three chords and a cloud of dust (dressed up in outrageous attire) win out over content and quality once again.                                                                                                                                                                                   The word  “jazz” has become the moniker for a broad scope of music that, in my way of thinking, has some level of improvisatory elements as a major part of it’s makeup, has a foundation in the blues, and draws upon a variety of musical and cultural influences. The two Grammy categories that have existed up until now, “traditional jazz” and “contemporary jazz”, just barely provided a forum for the multitude of styles of improvised jazz music that exist.                                                                                                                                                                  Now that the “contemporary jazz” category is going away artists as disparate as Sonny Rollins, Winton Marsalis, John Scofield, the Yellowjackets, and any number of artists who wish to put a contempo slant (electric?) on the music will be lumped into one category. And, oh yeah, lets not forget, that as the result of the latin-jazz category being done away with, artists such as  Eddie Palmieri, Oscar Hernandez and  Poncho Sanchez will be thrown in there too.                                                                                                                                                                                 The world I choose to live in focuses on detail, acknowledgement of the past, and a reverence for  an enlightened view on the arts and culture. It appears the Grammy organization has entered the “reality tv” world the rest of our country lives in. I’m not totally shocked, though. When was the last time you heard any jazz or classical music performed on a Grammy telecast?  There was none of either last year, except for a high school jazz group (Grammy in the Schools band) playing behind the presidential speech.

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