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Full text of "Jazz in America : who's listening?"

ij^zz in America: 
Who's Listening ? 

tt DeVeaux 
liearch Division Report #31 







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National Endowment for the Arts 






Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

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http://archive.org/details/jazzinamericawhoOOdeve 



Jazz in America: 

Who s Listening? 



Jazz in America: Who s Listening? is Report #31 in a series on matters of interest to the 
arts community commissioned by the Research Division of the National Endowment 
for the Arts. 

Cover: Wynton Marsalis and Betty Carter in a performance at Lincoln Center. 
Photo by Jack Vartoogian. 

First printed 1995 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 
DeVeaux, Scott Knowles. 

Jazz in America: who's listening? / Scott DeVeaux. 

p. cm. — (Research Division report / National Endowment for the 
Arts; #31) 

Based on data from the 1992 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts sponsored 
by the National Endowment for the Arts. 
ISBN 0-929765-40-0 (paperback) 

1. Jazz audiences — United States — Statistics. I. National Endowment for the Arts. 
II. Title. III. Series: Research Division report (National Endowment for the Arts. 
Research Division); 31. 
ML3508.D48 1995 

78 1 .65 , 0973— dc20 95-4463 

CIP 
MN 

Manufactured in the United States of America 

Seven Locks Press 
Carson, California 
1-800-354-5348 



Table of Contents 



List of Figures 
List of Tables 



VI 



Vll 



Introduction/Executive Summary 1 

The Potential Jazz Audience 1 

Size of the Jazz Audience 2 

Demographic Characteristics of the Jazz Audience 2 

Other Findings 4 

PART I: The Jazz Audience: How Big Is It and 

How Does It Participate? 5 

Issues and Problems 5 

Attendance 9 

Recordings 1 1 

Radio 12 

Television/ Video 14 

Cross-tabulations 1 5 

PART II: Demographic Characteristics of the Jazz Audience 16 

Education 1 6 

Income 1 9 

Age 19 

Race 2 1 

Gender 25 

Geography 26 

Demographic Profiles by Frequency of Attendance 26 

Frequency of attendance and race and gender 27 

Frequency of attendance and age 28 

Frequency of attendance and education 30 

Frequency of attendance and income 30 

Demographic Profile of Subscribers to Jazz Magazines 3 1 

PART III: Musical Preferences 33 

Those Who "Like Jazz" 33 

Those Who Like Jazz "Best of All" 35 
Preferences for Jazz in Relation to Other Musical Genres 36 



vi I Jazz in America 

Education 37 

Income 38 

Age 39 

Race 39 

Gender 43 

Cross-tabulations 44 

PART IV: Performers 51 

PART V: Music Education 53 

PART VI: Leisure Activities 54 

PART VII: Conclusions 56 

Appendix: Survey of Public Participation in the Arts 

Questionnaire, 1992 58 

Notes 65 

About the Author 68 

Other Reports on the 1 992 SPPA 69 



Figures 

Figure 1. 1992 Frequencies of Attendance for Benchmark 

Arts Activities 6 

Figure 2. Jazz Attendance and Education in 1982 and 1992 17 

Figure 3. 1992 Education Distributions of Jazz Audiences 17 
Figure 4. College Graduate Component of 1992 Audiences for 

Benchmark Arts Activities (Percent of Total Audience) 1 8 

Figure 5. 1992 Racial Distributions of Jazz Audiences 24 

Figure 6. 1992 Media Participation in Jazz by Geographic Region 27 

Figure 7a. 1992 Frequency of Attendance and Age 29 
Figure 7b. 1992 Frequency of Attendance and Age (Alternative 

Presentation) 30 
Figure 8. Musical Taste and Education, 1992 (Percentages Who 

Reported "Liking" Various Genres) 38 
Figure 9. Musical Taste and Age, 1992 (Percentages Who 

Reported "Liking" Various Genres) 40 



Table of Contents I vii 

Tables 

Table 1 . Jazz Venues in 1 982 and 1 992 11 
Table 2. Frequency of Attendance, Gender, and Race 

(Unweighted) 29 
Table 3. Age Distribution of Respondents Who Liked Jazz 

in 1982 and 1992 34 
Table 4. Percentages of Respondents Who Liked the 

10 Most Popular Musical Genres 36 
Table 5. Percentages of Respondents Who Liked 

a Musical Genre Best of All 37 

Table 6. Musical Genres Liked by Black Americans 41 

Table 7. Musical Genres Liked by White Americans 41 

Table 8. Musical Genres Liked Best by Black Americans 42 

Table 9. Musical Genres Liked Best by White Americans 43 

Table 10. Black Audiences for Musical Genres 43 

Table 1 1 . Gender Preferences for Male-Dominated Musical Genres 44 

Table 12. Gender Preferences for Female-Dominated Musical Genres 44 
Table 13. Percentage of Those Who Like Jazz Who Also Like 

Other Musical Genres, Including Comparison with 

Population as a Whole 45 
Table 14. Musical Genre Preferences of Jazz Performance 

Attenders, Compared with Population as a Whole 46 
Table 15. Musical Genre Preferences of Listeners to Jazz Radio, 

Compared with Population as a Whole 46 
Table 16. Musical Genre Preferences of Listeners to Jazz 

Recordings, Compared with Population as a Whole 47 

Table 17. Jazz Performance Attendance in Order of Genre Preference 48 

Table 18. Listeners to Jazz Radio in Order of Genre Preference 49 

Table 19. Listeners to Jazz Recordings in Order of Genre Preference 50 
Table 20. Jazz Performance Attenders' Participation in Other 

Leisure Activities, Compared with Population as a Whole 55 



Introduction/Executive Summary 



In 1992. the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funded a broad-based 
statistical investigation into the audiences for various art forms in the L nited 
States. The Survey of Public Participation in the Arts I SPPA] for 199- was the 
third such survey over the past decade. l As in the two earlier sur-t- 5 :onduc:r ft 
in 1982 and 1985)* the 1992 survey listed jazz as one c: seven "benchmark uta 
activities. It gathered detailed information on the size and demographic char- 
acteristics of the jazz audience: those adult Americans who attend jazz events! 
participate in jazz through the media, perform jazz, or simply say the}" like the 
idiom. 

This monograph examines the data from the 1992 survey and provides i 
context for interpretation. Many items are compared with the rmdings from the 
1982 SPPA" The information provided by the SPPAs, it must be emphasize z 
does not distinguish between potentially conflicting definitions of jazz — ze- 
tween, for example, the conventional definition of the "jazz tradition** favored 
by educators, critics, and the arts establishment, and the recent pop-orien:rz 
styles often referred to as "contemporary jazz." (Traditional jazz is nothinz if 
not contemporary, with artists c : eating new music and charting new territory 
even' year.] The SPPA figures should be understood as reliable data regarding 
the aggregate audience for jazz in all of its current manifestations. The respon- 
dents defined jazz as thev saw lit. 



The Potential Jazz Audience 

The potential audience for jazz has grown significantly. About one-thirc : : 
American adults (up from 26 percent in 1982) reported that they "liked jaz: 
and about 5 percent [up from 3 percent in 1982 reported that they liked jazz 
"best of all" musical genres. In 1992, 25 percent of adult Americans expressed 
a desire to attend jazz performances more often than they do now compared 
with 18 percent in 1982 

Only half of those who preferred jazz to any other musical form attendez a 
jazz event during the previous year. Supply may have been a limitation, but 
there are few data on changes in the number of opportunities :; zirticipate in 
jazz. Anecdotal evidence indicates a gradual shift from private commercial 
venues, such as night clubs, to public sites, such as chic auditoriums and 
colleges. Record companies have greatly expanded their jazz output, recusing, 



Jazz in America 



surprisingly, on the "authentic" kind of jazz as well as on its easily marketed 
"accessible" counterpart. Commercial and public radio have expanded jazz 
programming, and there are a few all-jazz stations. A jazz cable channel may be 
established in 1995. 



Size of the Jazz Audience 

In 1992, approximately 10 percent of adult Ajnericans (19.7 million) 
attended a jazz performance during the previous year, and 20 percent listened 
to a jazz recording. These figures are approximately the same as those reported 
for 1982. But 22 percent watched jazz on television in some form (broadcast or 
videotape), up from 18 percent in 1982; and 28 percent listened to jazz radio, 
a dramatic increase over the 1 8 percent a decade earlier. The growth in jazz radio 
is attributable in part to the spread of new pop-jazz formats (e.g., New Adult 
Contemporary) on commercial radio and to the increased popularity of more 
traditional forms of jazz on public broadcasting. 

Cross-tabulations of the 1992 SPPA data show that most of those who 
attend jazz performances also participate in jazz through the media at a rate three 
times that of the population as a whole. Of those who attend jazz performances, 
76 percent listen to jazz on the radio, 67 percent listen to jazz recordings, and 
61 percent watch jazz on some form of television. About a third of those who 
listen to jazz recordings also attend concerts. 

The 1992 survey provides, for the first time, data on the frequency of 
attendance. Those who attended a jazz performance during the previous year 
did so an average of 2.9 times — higher than comparable rates for any of the 
other benchmark performing arts. But a large majority of those attending jazz 
events did so less frequently than this average: 44 percent attended only once, 
while an additional 26 percent attended only twice. Thus, a small percentage 
of the jazz audience forms a disproportionately large share of the total number 
of attendees. Even so, the total number of attendances at jazz events was nearly 
as large as that for classical music. 



Demographic Characteristics of the Jazz Audience 

The overall profile reveals an audience base that is affluent, well educated, 
youthful, and ethnically diverse. The frequency-of- attendance data show that 
the audience that frequently participates in jazz is strikingly male, well educated, 
well off, and black, in comparison with the general adult population. These 
findings are consistent with readership surveys by jazz magazines. 



Introduction/Executive Summary I 3 

Participation in jazz correlates strongly with education and income. Nearly 
half of those attending jazz performances, for example, are college graduates; 
over three-quarters have had some college education. Those earning more than 
$50,000 a year are more than twice as likely to attend performances as those 
earning less than $25,000. In this respect, the audience profile for jazz resembles 
that of the other benchmark arts activities, for which the highest rates of 
participation are found among the most affluent and highly educated. 

The jazz audience is predominantly youthful, especially when compared 
with the audiences for the other benchmark arts activities. Over two- thirds of 
those attending jazz performances are under 45, with a peak in the age group 
of 25 to 34. But comparison with the 1982 figures shows a distinct greying 
trend, with decreases in nearly all forms of jazz participation or preference in 
the 18-to-24 age group compensated by increases in groups over age 34. The 
1992 SPPA data show a striking increase in the participation in jazz through 
the media by respondents 75 and older. A possible explanation is that by 1992 
this group had long been exposed to jazz during the years when musical tastes 
are likely to be formed. 

The demographic profile of the audience with respect to gender and race 
reveals other qualities unique to jazz. Participation rates are consistently higher 
for men than for women; although men make up only 48 percent of the adult 
population in the United States, the audience for most forms of participation 
in jazz is 52 to 54 percent male. In contrast, in all other benchmark arts activities, 
participation rates are higher for women than for men. Similarly, participation 
rates for African Americans are consistently higher than for white Americans; 
although blacks make up 1 1 percent of the adult population, between 1 6 and 
20 percent of the audience for various forms of participation in jazz is black. 
Jazz is unique among the benchmark activities in being derived from African 
American traditions. 

The statistics on frequency of attendance and on those who prefer jazz to 
all other musical genres provide a way of focusing on the characteristics of the 
most loyal and intense sector of the jazz audience. Within this small but 
influential group, the findings with regard to race and gender, noted above for 
the jazz audience as a whole, become sharper, with males and African Americans 
showing strikingly high rates of involvement. Nearly a quarter of those who 
attend as many as nine jazz performances per year are black, and three-fifths are 
male. Approximately a third of those who report liking jazz "best of all" are 
black, and two-thirds are male. These findings are corroborated by demographic 
surveys conducted by major jazz specialty magazines, which find men and 
African Americans disproportionately represented among their readership. 



4 I Jazz in America 

Other Findings 

■ In 1992, approximately 1 .7 percent of adult Americans reported "perform- 
ing or rehearsing" jazz over the previous year. Less than half this number 
(0.8 percent) performed jazz in public — roughly the same percentage 
reported in the 1982 SPPA. Performers are predominantly male, white 
(although blacks and Asians are somewhat more likely to perform jazz than 
whites), and youthful (71 percent under the age of 45). Ninety- three percent 
of the jazz performers have had some formal musical education. 

■ Although jazz retains a multiracial audience, it enjoys particular support in 
the black community. More than half (54 percent) of the adult African 
American population reports liking jazz, compared with only a third (32 
percent) of whites. Roughly 16 percent of African Americans like jazz "best 
of all" — only religious music captured a larger percentage — compared with 
4 percent of whites. 

■ The audiences for jazz and classical music overlap to a considerable extent: 
roughly a third of those who attend performances of one genre also attend 
performances of the other. 

■ Those who attend jazz performances are more likely than the population as 
a whole to participate in a wide range of leisure activities, such as movies, 
exercise, sports, or charity work. 



The Jazz Audience: How Big Is It 
and How Does It Participate? 




Issues and Problems 

The figures in the SPPA report the participation of adult Americans in jazz 
through several different means: attendance at live events, listening to radio 
and recordings, watching performances on TV (via broadcasts or videotape), 
and performing. The sheer numbers of those who participated in jazz in some 
form are both impressive and encouraging. But such aggregate figures must be 
treated with caution because they mask important distinctions within the jazz 
audience that anyone attempting to interpret these data should bear in mind. 

The first is a consideration shared by other arts surveyed: the distinction 
between the casual consumer and the dedicated supporter of the arts. The 
aggregate jazz audience represents the broadest possible interpretation of "arts 
participation" — including casual, passive, or even unintentional listening to jazz 
through any medium. Out of the broadest possible audience of approximately 
185 million adult Americans, about a third (34 percent), or roughly 63 million, 
say they "like jazz." Of these, no more than one in seven (5 percent of the 
broadest possible audience, or 9.5 million) reports liking jazz "best of all." And 
of those who preferred jazz to all other musical genres, less than half (44 percent) 
actually attended a jazz event over the past year. In other words, the more 
purposeful supporters of an art form — the regular concert goers, record buyers, 
and radio listeners that one ordinarily associates with the concept of "audi- 
ence" — undoubtedly constitute a fraction of the total reported jazz audience, 
and probably a small fraction at that. 

Consider, for example, the statistics on frequency of attendance. The aggre- 
gate figure for the average number of attendances per attender for jazz is 
encouraging. It is, in fact, higher for jazz than for any other performing art 
sampled in the SPPA: 2.9 (as opposed to 2.6 for classical music, 2.4 for theater, 
2.3 for musicals, 1.7 for opera and ballet). This brings the "total number of 
attendances" for jazz very close to the total attendances at classical music 
performances (57.1 million for jazz, 60.3 million for classical music). And yet, 
for all art forms surveyed, the overwhelming majority of attendances were 
casual — only once or twice a year. Because the numbers attending decline sharply 
with frequency, average attendance rates can be misleading. Figure 1 shows the 
number of times participants attended for all benchmark arts activities. 



Jazz in America 



FIGURE 1. 



1 992 Frequencies of Attendance for 
Benchmark Arts Activities 




-» 10 

Q_ 



Jazz Classical Opera Musicals Plays 
Music 



Ballet Dance 



1 



□ 3 H 4 



□ 6 



The distinction between the casual and dedicated participant is significant 
insofar as the demographic profile changes. Generalizations that one might 
make on the basis of aggregate figures may not accurately reflect the charac- 
teristics of those who do the most to support an art form. Data on frequency of 
attendance and the portion of the SPPA in which respondents are invited to say 
which genre of music they like "best of all" provide a limited means of assessing 
the nature and extent of the dedicated jazz audience. 

A second consideration has to do with the divergent and potentially 
conflicting definitions that lurk within the broad label "jazz." This consideration 
unfortunately has no easy solution. As with the earlier SPPAs, the 1992 SPPA 
avoids entangling itself in the possibly murky question of what "jazz" might 
mean. Rather than guiding participants toward a particular interpretation, the 
SPPA relies entirely on the technique of "respondent identification," allowing 
each individual to apply his or her own definition of jazz to the question. 
Respondents are simply asked whether they have attended a jazz event, listened 
to jazz on the radio, watched jazz on television or video, and so forth. Not until 
the end of the survey, in the section on music preferences, is any clue given that 
jazz is a genre distinct from, say, "blues/rhythm and blues," "soul," "big band," 
or rock. 



The Jazz Audience: How Big Is It and How Does It Participate? I 7 

This all-inclusive definition is useful as a gross indicator of the relationship 
of American audiences with jazz. And yet, as the marketplace shows, consumer 
taste may be much more finely differentiated. Audiences may identify less with 
jazz as a whole than with one or more of its subgroupings. The sheer number 
and variety of genres can be bewildering. "In jazz, qualifiers rule," reports 
Billboard in a 1992 article on the state of jazz: "traditional, mainstream, 
electric, contemporary, straight-ahead, fusion, avant-garde." 

How to sort through this morass of conflicting definitions? Rather than 
examine the musical characteristics that might separate these categories, I 
propose to draw upon a useful distinction made recently by Richard Crawford 
that focuses instead on attitudes toward music by both musicians and their 
audiences. According to Crawford, these fall into two broad categories. The 
first, accessibility, is "a statement of priorities. Accessibility seeks out the center 

of the marketplace And it invests ultimate authority in the present-day audience 

[emphasis in original]. Performers driven by accessibility seek most of all to find 
and please audiences." In contrast, the second category, authenticity, invests its 
authority in traditions of creativity. Musicians who are guided by the "ideal of 
authenticity" feel that music at the time of its creation is guided by a "certain 
original spirit" (emphasis in original), and that the role of the present-day 
performer or creator is to remain faithful to that spirit — in short, to uphold the 
tradition. 

One normally assumes that these conflicting principles will result in sharply 
divergent music, with accessibility being the reigning paradigm of popular 
culture and authenticity the hallmark of art traditions. But they do not 
necessarily diverge. In jazz, they have coexisted, sometimes uneasily, for more 
than half a century. The Swing Era of the 1930s and 1940s is the high-water 
mark of jazz as an accessible species of popular music, an authentic form 
intimately connected with contemporary fashions in dance, popular song, and 
the intangible symbols of the youth subculture. But one need only look to the 
"funky" hard bop of the 1 950s, the bossa nova craze of the early 1 960s, jazz/ rock 
and jazz/funk fusion in the 1970s, and the nascent jazz/hip-hop movement of 
the 1990s to see how persistent is the impulse to shadow the tastes and 
enthusiasms of the mass public. 

Meanwhile the ideal of authenticity has a long history as well. As early as the 
1930s, aficionados were distinguishing the "real" forms of jazz from the impure, 
commercial derivations and arguing loudly for the recognition and support due 
a fine art. Over time, the effort to define jazz as an authentic artistic tradition has 
gathered nearly irresistible momentum. Jazz is now a staple of university music 
departments and such granting agencies as the NEA. It is increasingly at home 
in the concert hall and on public television and radio. It is music that one 
approaches through experts and critics, to gain "cultural capital." It is widely, if 



8 I Jazz in America 

not universally, recognized as part of the cultural establishment; it is, in Billy 
Taylor's oft-quoted phrase, "America's classical music." 

All of this is not merely a passive appreciation of jazz's virtues. It presumes 
an implicit responsibility on the part of the establishment to preserve the 
tradition it has inherited and to ensure its continuing survival in an indifferent 
or even hostile cultural environment. The listing of jazz as one of seven 
benchmark arts activities in the SPPA is both confirmation of its newly official 
status and a sign of concern by the arts community about its future. Why gather 
detailed information about the audience for jazz if not from a desire to increase 
that audience? 

I make these obvious points to contrast the characteristic concerns of 
"authentic" jazz advocates with the market-driven concerns of "accessible" jazz. 
The paradigm of authenticity presupposes a rich tradition for which one wishes 
to build a wider audience. The hope is to modify the consumer, through 
education and exposure, to accept and support a relatively stable body of artistic 
practices. The countervailing paradigm of accessibility, on the other hand, 
presupposes an audience for which one hopes to supply a product. The aim is 
to satisfy shifting consumer taste by creating new genres or by modifying existing 
ones through shrewd guessing and market research. The two aims can certainly 
overlap. For instance, during his heyday, Duke Ellington was simultaneously a 
popular celebrity and a touchstone of jazz authenticity. The two aims can also 
be at cross-purposes. 

In early 1987, Billboard changed the way it tracked the sales of jazz albums. 
Previously, it had published a, single chart for Jazz. Now there would be two 
charts: one still called Jazz, devoted to recordings "in the traditional genre"; and 
a new chart, Contemporary Jazz, covering "jazz fusion, new age, and other new 
developments in jazz music." 

The phrase "traditional jazz" used to refer to revivals of the New Orleans 
jazz style popular since the 1940s. It now encompasses everything from New 
Orleans jazz to post-bop and the avant garde — the entire spectrum covered by 
the phrase "the jazz tradition." Even to be aware of these genres — to say nothing 
of understanding the complex and manifold ways in which they interrelate 
stylistically and historically — presupposes a considerable degree of education 
and sophistication. Its counterpoise, "contemporary jazz," carries no such 
intellectual baggage. It is a genre of pop music, distinguished from the rock 
mainstream by the absence of vocals and prominent use of traditional jazz 
instruments, such as the saxophone, and continually adjusted to suit the 
perceived tastes of its targeted audience. 

The opposition implied by these terms is to some extent illusory. Traditional 
jazz is nothing if not contemporary, with artists creating new music and charting 
new territory every year. And the fluid interaction with popular culture repre- 



The Jazz Audience: How Big Is It and How Does It Participate? 



sented by contemporary jazz has, as I have indicated, a long history, now 
thoroughly absorbed into the official jazz tradition. 

Semantic confusion aside, the distinction is real and not to be lightly 
dismissed. Traditional jazz requires a commitment from its listeners. Its poten- 
tial audience must be carefully nurtured through such educational outreach 
efforts as college courses, CD reissues with painstakingly researched liner notes, 
public radio and television documentaries, or trade books aimed at the aficio- 
nado. Contemporary jazz welcomes the casual listener — anyone inclined to 
consider as "jazz" pop music that is obviously not rock. The potential audience 
for contemporary jazz is changeable but vast, and the boundary lines separating 
it from mainstream pop are fluid. Saxophonist Kenny G, considered by many 
the embodiment of contemporary jazz but deliberately marketed as a pop 
musician, has alone sold a reported 17 million records since the late 1980s. 
"People who don't know anything about jazz know Kenny G," says one critic. 
"He's their jazz" (emphasis in original). 

None of these considerations is directly ascertainable from the SPPA. The 
figures reported in this monograph are simply the aggregate of responses to the 
term "jazz" by the American public. Those who consider the likes of Kenny G 
to be unauthentic will have to make their own rough calculations or educated 
guesses to determine what percentage of the reported audience is listening to 
"authentic" jazz. Yet this larger, undifferentiated figure represents an upper 
boundary for that segment of the audience that is willing to identify itself with 
the umbrella term "jazz" and is therefore presumably more susceptible to 
educational efforts designed to bring them into the jazz tradition. 



Attendance 

The overall rate for those reporting attendance at a jazz event over the past 
year has remained essentially stable over the past 10 years. The surveys show a 
slight increase (from 9.6 percent in 1982 and 9.5 percent in 1985 to 10.6 
percent in 1992), but one that proves to be statistically insignificant. It is more 
realistic to say that the rate has remained stable at about 10 percent. Of course, 
this is a rate, not an absolute number. The size of the estimated audience has 
grown along with the growth in population, from 15.7 million in 1982 to 19.7 
million in 1992. 

This rate of attendance places jazz somewhere in the middle of the bench- 
mark arts activities. Fewer people attend jazz performances than go to art 
museums (26.7 percent), musicals (17.4 percent), the theater (13.5 percent), 
and performances of classical music (12.5 percent); but more attend jazz events 
than attend performances of opera (3.3 percent), ballet (4.7 percent), and "other 



10 I Jazz in America 



dance" (7.1 percent). The audiences for jazz and classical music are not only 
similar in size, but also overlap to a considerable extent: 39 percent of those who 
attend jazz events also attend classical events, while 33 percent of those attending 
classical events also attend jazz events. 

Has there been any change in the supply of concerts over the past decade — 
either in quantity or in the kinds of venues in which jazz performances are 
offered to the public? Such information lies beyond the scope of the SPPA. 
However, anecdotal evidence, though sketchy and inconclusive, suggests a 
broad historical shift away from the private toward the public sector: from the 
traditional smoky nightclub operated on a commercial basis, to civic auditori- 
ums and performing arts centers funded by colleges and local nonprofit arts 
organizations. 

One explanatory factor, certainly, is the emergence of new sources of 
funding for local jazz organizations, which for years have struggled to provide 
sponsorship and alternative venues for a music that cannot always reach its 
audience through commercial means. The most dramatic effort in this direction 
was the creation in 1990 of the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest National Jazz 
Network, a program administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts 
and the National Jazz Service Organization that provides financial and technical 
assistance to 20 local presenting organizations and 6 regional arts organizations. 
The funding provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund for this 
network (supplemented by the NEA and local sources) has accelerated growth 
in nonprofit, public sector support of jazz. Nearly all of these organizations 
concentrate on sponsoring performances by the wide spectrum of traditional 
acoustic jazz artists — presumably under the assumption that the more commer- 
cially oriented contemporary jazz will thrive in the open market. 

In spite of the anecdotal evidence, existing data suggest that where people 
attend jazz concerts has not changed over the past decade. A direct comparison 
with earlier figures on this issue is not possible, since the questions on venues 
that were part of the 1982 SPPA were not included in the 1992 survey. But 
such questions were asked in the 12 Local Surveys of Public Participation in the 
Arts. The weighted percentages for the 12 sites combined show little change 
from the 1982 SPPA results. Table 1 shows the jazz venues in 1982 and 1992. 

Is there a potential for growth in the audience for live jazz performance? 
One encouraging sign is the increase in the number who expressed an interest 
in attending more jazz performances than they currently do. In the 1982 SPPA, 
18 percent expressed such a desire; in 1992, this number had risen to a quarter 
of the adult population, or some 46.5 million people. Jazz was not alone in this 
regard: comparable increases were reported for virtually all of the other bench- 
mark activities. 



The Jazz Audience: How Big Is It and How Does It Participate? I 1 1 



TABLE 1 . Jazz Venues 


in 


1982 and 1992 (%) 




Venue 




1982* 1992 (12 cities) 


Concert hall/auditorium 




29 


30 


College facility 




12 


7 


Night club/coffee house 




23 


26 


Dinner theater 




10 


7 


Park/open-air facility 




20 


20 


Other facilities 




7 


10 


*Figures for 1 982 do not add up 


to 


1 00 because of rounding. 





Recordings 

The percentage of adult Americans reporting that they listened to jazz 
recordings over the past year has remained stable at about 20 percent (20.2 
percent in 1982, 20.6 percent in 1992). And yet, industry observers are 
unanimous in proclaiming that jazz now enjoys a higher profile in the market- 
place than it did just a decade ago. The latter half of the 1980s saw nearly all 
the major labels establish a strong presence in the jazz market. By 1990, such 
corporate giants as PolyGram (on the Verve label), Capitol (Blue Note), RCA 
(Novus), Sony (Columbia), MCA (GRP), and Warner Brothers had "simulta- 
neously undertaken aggressive jazz programs that encompass [ed] virtually un- 
precedented artist development and marketing efforts." 

The most striking aspect of this activity is that it focused not on the easily 
marketed "accessible" kind of jazz, but its "authentic" counterpart. The bell- 
wether was the emergence ofWynton Marsalis. Marsalis's youth, virtuosity, and 
outspoken criticism of commercially oriented jazz/rock fusion ("I just don't like 
it when people call it jazz when it's not" ) attracted a great deal of media 
attention. The success of his early albums for Columbia emboldened other 
record companies to promote a whole generation of youthful jazz musicians, 
dubbed "the young lions" by the jazz press. Some, like Marsalis, continued to 
act as spokespersons for a purist vision of jazz. Others — including Bobby 
McFerrin, Harry Connick Jr., and Wynton's brother, Branford — were widely 
recognized as "jazz artists" but managed, in various ways, to reach a much 
broader audience. Of Connick' s success as pianist, singer, and icon of big-band 
era nostalgia, Columbia's George Butler has said, "We didn't see him as, say, a 
jazz artist with a limited marketplace. We focused very broadly. We didn't go 



12 I Jazz in America 



to just certain radio formats and publications with his story. We treated him 
like a pop artist and pulled out all the stops." 

By the early 1990s, the young lions were joined by veteran musicians, 
proving that the new commercial viability of "authentic" jazz recordings was 
independent of youthful fashion and sex appeal. Recent recordings for Verve 
by Joe Henderson, Shirley Horn, and Abbey Lincoln have provided those artists 
with something like mainstream commercial success for perhaps the first time 
in their careers. The willingness of major record companies to devote their 
resources and attention to jazz artists (and, of course, the persistent championing 
of various subgenres of jazz by independent labels) has been at the heart of a 
resurgence of interest in jazz that has the potential to stimulate demand in all 
areas. As one booking agent put it, "The perception of jazz as a viable and hip 
art form makes the record companies happy, and then the people believe it." 

Nor is the activity in recordings limited to new artists. The major labels have 
enormous stockpiles of recordings covering the entire spectrum of jazz history. 
The industrywide conversion of recorded music to the CD format has meant 
that these recordings can be reissued, in effect, as "new" products: remastered 
in digital sound and presented either in their original packaging or with new 
cover art, new liner notes, previously unissued alternate takes, and extensive 
discographical information. Such recycled material keeps the idea of tradition 
alive in the marketplace and helps make jazz profitable for record companies: 
some 40 to 50 percent of total jazz sales for major labels are estimated to come 
from reissues. 1 

Meanwhile, the more frankly commercial varieties of jazz continue to thrive, 
exploiting the fluid boundary lines between jazz and mainstream pop entertain- 
ment. Whether much of this music ought to be considered jazz, with due 
respect to Wynton Marsalis, is an open question and one of potentially great 
interest for musicians, critics, and scholars. But for the purposes of interpreting 
the SPPA data, it is important to bear in mind that recordings by the Rip- 
pingtons, Bob James, Earl Klugh, Dave Grusin, and other "contemporary jazz" 
artists may be the kind of music that a significant portion of the listening public 
most closely associates with the word "jazz." 



Radio 

Participation in jazz by listening to the radio provides the most striking 
contrast between the 1992 and previous surveys. In 1982 and again in 1985, 
radio had a participation rate roughly equivalent to other media (recordings and 
TV): about 18 percent. In 1992, that figure jumped sharply to 28 percent. 
When the increase in population during this period is taken into account, this 



The Jazz Audience: How Big Is It and How Does It Participate? I 1 3 

means that the audience for jazz via radio grew from just over 30 million 
Americans to 52 million — an increase of over 70 percent. (Similar dramatic 
increases were also reported for classical music and opera.) 

Why this should be so and what implications it has for the jazz audience 
can only be matters for speculation. Unlike the recording industry, where jazz 
has long been established as a distinct and viable specialty market carefully 
nurtured by divisions of major labels and independent companies, radio has 
provided no firm institutional base for jazz. Even in major urban areas, there 
are only a handful of full-time radio stations devoted to jazz. 

One factor, perhaps, has been the emergence of a new mixture of jazz/pop 
instrumental and vocal music, strategically situated on the shifting border 
between more traditional jazz and out-and-out pop styles. As early as 1981, one 
industry observer noted that radio programmers were already scrambling to 
devise formats to appeal to aging baby boomers who would, inevitably, lose their 
taste for youth-oriented pop. The key to tapping into this audience, he argued, 
was a new genre of jazz-derived pop instrumental music, which he called "jazzz" 
to distinguish it from the jazz of the purists. "Unhip jazz for unhip people," as 
he unkindly put it, would become "the 'soft rock,' 'beautiful music,' and 'adult 
contemporary of the eighties.'" 

By the decade's end, this prophecy had become reality. New radio formats, 
variously called "New Adult Contemporary" (NAC), "Adult Alternative," 
"Smooth Jazz," or "Lite Jazz," have brought some styles of jazz instrumental 
music to a wider radio audience. The targeted demographic audience consists 
of young adults, aged 25 to 44 — not coincidentally, the peak age group for jazz 
activity reported in the SPPA. "I want the people burned out on rock," said one 
producer of several syndicated NAC programs. "They're the ones who give me 

i "17 

the ratings. 

Aiid yet, traditional jazz has continued to maintain a presence in commer- 
cial radio. It crops up in special program blocks during the day (a "Sunday 
Brunch," for example) and as "'spice' elements in regular playlists" in estab- 
lished formats, such as Adult Contemporary. Although it is unlikely that new 
stations entirely devoted to jazz will spring up, programmers are learning that 
the music has a market with demographic characteristics that can be very 
attractive to advertisers. KJAZ, the California radio station that is one of the 
few 24-hour jazz outlets, has recently started syndicating programs to be sold 
to other stations nationwide. 

Meanwhile, jazz is well established on noncommercial radio, especially 
National Public Radio (NPR). Whether locally generated or broadcast in such 
syndicated programs as Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, jazz has found a place 
alongside classical music in NPR programming. An estimated 80 percent of 
NPR stations in 1992 regularly included jazz programming. "Jazz has become 



14 I Jazz in America 



a force on these stations," notes one industry observer. "It's got listener viability, 
and the classical music audience is continuing to age." 1 



Television/Video 

The fraction of adult Americans who have watched jazz performances on 
television has increased slightly over the past decade, from 18 percent in 1982 
to 21 percent in the latest SPPA. Added to this is a new category of participation 
via television^watching videotaped performances on a VCR. Although only 4 
percent of adult Americans report watching jazz video, most of them also watch 
jazz on both television and VCR, and the total audience is 22 percent. 

The growth of the audience for jazz on television is probably attributable at 
least in part to the cable revolution. The proliferation of cable channels over the 
past decade has inevitably led to a greater diversity in programming. Such new 
channels as Bravo and A&E have provided broadcast time for jazz performances 
that otherwise would not have existed. . 

Although jazz's foothold on television continues to be tenuous, there are a 
few striking exceptions: Branford Marsalis upholding the tradition of live jazz 
performance on The Tonight Show, the indefatigable Billy Taylor on morning 
television, documentaries on the PBS series American Masters. But the revolu- 
tion in music video that has transformed popular music — in particular, the 
interrelation between music-video cable channels and record promotion — has 
yet to affect jazz. The market for jazz recordings has been too small and the 
expense of producing music videos too great. Such jazz videos as have been 
produced tend to be of a more documentary nature and marketed to a relatively 
small group of dedicated jazz enthusiasts. This accounts for the tiny percentage 
(4 percent) of people that have watched any jazz video over the past year. 
Corresponding percentages for popular musical genres are not available in the 
SPPA, but given the popularity of MTV, VH-1, and country music video 
channels, it is a safe assumption that they are substantially higher. 

Yet the continued expansion of cable will very likely pull more specialized 
music, such as jazz, into its wake. Black Entertainment Television has an- 
nounced plans to establish a 24-hour jazz cable channel by the end of 1995. 
Whether this ambitious project will become a reality is, as of this writing, 
impossible to say. But, should it come to fruition, the demand for material to 
fill programming slots would create an explosive demand for jazz video that 
would, more likely than not, have to come largely from videotapes of live 
performances. One nonprofit jazz presenting organization, the Manchester 
Craftmen's Guild of Pittsburgh, is preparing for the future by adding multi- 
camera video recording capability to its performing facility. It has already 



The Jazz Audience: How Big Is It and How Does It Participate? I 1 5 



syndicated audio recordings of its concert series through NPR and is looking to 
similar possibilities on cable television. 

Obviously, the potential to build new audiences for jazz via television is 
incalculable. Veteran vocalist Betty Carter, who has seen her name recognition 
soar more as a result of a few appearances on The Bill Cosby Show than in her 
previous four decades in the music business, has recently said, "The big wave of 
change will be jazz on television. This is something I've been working on for 
years. You see, I can hire young musicians and encourage young players for the 
rest of my life and it won't develop an audience. This will." 



Cross-tabulations 

Some sense of the interrelation among the various types of participation in 
jazz — especially between attendance at live performances and media participa- 
tion — can be gained through cross-tabulation of the data in the SPPA. Although 
the tables of statistics are difficult to interpret, the following picture emerges. 

Most of those who attend jazz performances are also exposed to jazz through 
the media. Over three-quarters (76 percent) listen to jazz on the radio. Two- 
thirds (67 percent) listen to jazz on recordings. Fifty-eight percent watch jazz 
on broadcast television; 16 percent watch jazz on VCR; taking into account the 
13 percent who say they do both activities, the aggregate audience for watching 
jazz on television in some form accounts for 61 percent of the jazz attenders. 
All of these figures, not surprisingly, exceed the national norm for participation 
in jazz via the media by approximately a factor of three. 

Of the three main media, listening to jazz on recordings is the strongest 
predictor of jazz attendance: more than a third (35 percent) of those who listen 
to jazz recordings report attending a jazz performance. This is more than three 
times the national average. Somewhat smaller percentages of those who con- 
sume jazz through the free broadcast media (radio, 28 percent; TV, 26 percent) 
attend jazz performances. The new medium of videotape also shows a strong 
correlation with jazz attendance: 30 percent of those who watch jazz only via 
VCR attend jazz performances, and 45 percent of those who watch both 
broadcast television and VCR attend. 



Demographic Characteristics 
of the Jazz Audience 




Education 

Socioeconomic background remains the strongest predictor of participation 
in the arts generally, and jazz is no exception. Participation in jazz through 
live attendance and the media rises steeply and steadily with socioeconomic 
attainment as measured through increases in education and income levels. 

The rates for participation through attendance at live performances clearly 
exemplify this principle. Jazz events attract insignificant numbers of those with 
only a grade school education (fewer than 1 percent) and those with some high 
school education but no diploma (3 percent). At the other end of the scale, 
nearly a quarter of those with graduate education attend jazz events. Figure 2 
shows the correlation between 1982 and 1992 jazz attendance and educational 
levels. 

Since educational attainment is unevenly distributed in the population, 
another way of expressing this disparity is to consider what percentage of the 
total projected jazz audience is attributable to the various educational levels. 
Figure 3 shows the education distributions of the 1992 jazz audience for all 
kinds of participation. Although those with some college education amount to 
about 45 percent of the total population (i.e., combining the categories of 
"Some College," "College Graduate," and "Graduate School"), they account 
for over three-fourths (78 percent) of those attending jazz events. Only 24 
percent of adult Americans are college graduates (combining the categories of 
"College Graduate" and "Graduate School"), but 49 percent of jazz attenders 
are. Figure 4 shows the percentage of the total audience who are college 
graduates for all benchmark arts activities. 

Of course, similar disparities are reported for all of the other benchmark arts 
activities. If anything, the upward curves for classical music and opera are 
steeper, showing slightly more pronounced increases in the participation rates 
of college graduates and those with graduate education. While 49 percent of 
jazz attenders are college graduates, the corresponding rate is higher for attenders 
of classical music (54 percent) and opera (58 percent). 

A comparison with the earlier SPPA shows jazz may be gradually attracting 
more adherents from this most highly educated group. In 1982, the attendance 
rates for college graduates and those with graduate education were essentially 



16 



Demographic Characteristics of the Jazz Audience I 1 7 



FIGURE 2. Jazz Attendance and Education in 1 982 and 1 992 



1982 1992 




Grade Some High 
School High School School 

Graduate 



Some College Graduate 

College Graduate School 



FIGURE 3. 1992 Education Distributions of Jazz Audiences 



□ U.S. Population 
Live Attendance 



TV 
Radio 



Recordings 



40- 



35 



30- 



25 



c 

S 20- 



15- 

10- 

5- 

0- 






Grade 
School 



Some 

High 

School 



High 

School 

Graduate 



Some 
College 



College 
Graduate 



Graduate 
School 



18 I Jazz in America 



FIGURE 4. College Graduate Component of 1992 Audiences 
for Benchmark Arts Activities 

(Percent of Total Audience) 



60- 
50- 
40- 
30- 
20- 
10- 
0- 









Jazz 



Classical 
Music 



Opera 



Musicals 



Plays 



Ballet 



equivalent. By 1992, the attendance rates for the latter group had jumped 5 
percentage points. (This increase was offset by slight decreases for all educational 
groups below college level.) This shift toward a more educated audience was 
heightened by the general tendency over the 1982-1992 period for the popu- 
lation as a whole to become more highly educated. 

For media participation, rates also rise steadily with educational attainment. 
Only 9 percent of those with a grade school education listen to jazz radio, but 
nearly half (49 percent) of those with graduate education do. However, the curve 
is far less steep than that for attendance. Television and radio — those media 
most accessible to people with modest incomes — show the greatest participation 
by groups with low educational attainment, with distribution for recordings 
closest to the distribution found for attendance. Those with a high school 
diploma or less (i.e., combining the categories of "High School Graduate," 
"Some High School," and "Grade School") account for only 22 percent of the 
jazz attenders, but they comprise 30 percent of those listening to recordings, 36 
percent of those listening to jazz radio, and 37 percent of those watching jazz 
on television. Similarly, 47 percent of jazz attenders are college graduates, 
compared with 42 percent for recordings, 38 percent for radio, and 37 percent 
for television. 



Demographic Characteristics of the Jazz Audience I 1 9 



Income 



As with educational level, participation in jazz through attendance at 
performances rises with income — with one exception: the participation rate for 
the lowest income group (below $5-000) was slightly higher than that reported 
for the next two income levels. This discrepancy is probably attributable to the 
fact that the lowest income level is something of an anomaly, combining the 
poorest members of society with relatively privileged college students who have 
yet to enter the monetary economy. 

Not surprisingly, those earning $50,000 or more are disproportionately 
represented. Although people in this category represent only 1 9 percent of the 
total adult population, they make up 32 percent of those attending jazz events. 
Looked at another way, 1 8 percent of the people in this income group attend 
jazz events — the only income group to substantially exceed the national average. 
Those earning between $25,000 and $50,000 — by far the largest group in the 
adult population as a whole (37 percent) — attend jazz events at only a slightly 
higher rate than the total population. 

A similar pattern can be found for the benchmark arts activities as a whole: 
underrepresentation by lower income groups, overrepresentation by the 
$50, 000-and- above group, and the large $25,000-to-$50,000 group attending 
at a rate nearly identical with the national average. Similar patterns were also 
found in the 1982 SPPA, although inflation over the intervening decade makes 
a direct comparison impractical (those earning $25,000 in 1982 were consid- 
erably more prosperous than their counterparts in 1992). 

As with education, participation rates through the media also rise steadily 
with income, but less steeply. 



Age 

The audience for jazz in live performance is predominantly youthful, 
especially when compared with the audience for most of the other benchmark 
arts activities. Participation rates for jazz peak with the 25-to-34 age group, with 
only slightly lower rates for the 35-to-44 group. They then decline rapidly with 
advancing age. By contrast, theater, musicals, opera, and classical music all peak 
with the 45-to-54 age group, with the next highest participation rate in the 
55-to-64 age group. 

Because the 25-to-34 and 35-to-44 age groups also happen to be the largest 
in the adult population as a whole (23 percent and 21 percent, respectively, or 
a combined 44 percent of the adult population), they are particularly well 
represented in jazz. Fifty- four percent of attenders at jazz performances fall 



20 I Jazz in America 



between 25 and 44, compared with 44 percent for musicals, 43 percent for 
theater, 40 percent for classical music, and 43 percent for opera. Extending this 
comparison to include 18-to-24-year-olds, over two-thirds (68 percent) of the 
jazz attenders are younger than 45, compared with 56 percent of the audience 
for musicals, 55 percent for theater, 50 percent for classical music, and 53 
percent for opera. 

For media participation, the rates for radio and recordings peak with the 
25-to-34 age group, while the rates for television peak with those aged 35 to 
44. This corresponds with the general perception by industry observers that the 
audience for recordings in particular is to be found primarily among younger 
Americans. In general, the audiences for the free broadcast media (television 
and radio) are older than those attending performances: 23 percent of those who 
watch jazz on television and 19 percent of those who listen to jazz radio are over 
age 55, compared with 16 percent of jazz attenders. The age distribution of the 
audience for jazz recordings corresponds almost exactly with that of the audience 
for live performance. 

Analysis of trends over time for the demographic information on age is more 
complicated than for other factors because two different broad approaches may 
be taken. One may consider the behavior of any one age group — 25-to-34-year- 
olds, for example — at different times. Or one can take into account the fact that 
the 25-to-34-year-olds of 1982 will inexorably become the 35-to-44-year-olds 
of 1992, and compare the behavior of that age "cohort" (i.e., those born within 
a given 10-year span over time). "Cohort analysis" adds an invaluable dimension 
to the interpretation of age data because it begins to show how arts participation 
may evolve with age and how different generations, or "cohorts," may differ 
from one another. 

A direct comparison with statistics from the 1982 SPPA shows a significant 
"greying" trend. In 1982, the highest participation rate (18 percent) came from 
the youngest age group — those 18 to 24. The rate declined slightly (to 15 
percent) for the 25-to-34 group and dropped off more sharply thereafter. A 
direct comparison of participation rates across age groups shows a sharp decline 
between 1982 and 1992 for the 18-to-24 group, compensated by increases for 
the age groups above 34. 

Because the population as a whole was younger in 1 982 (1 8-to-24-year-olds 
then accounted for 17.4 percent of the population, as opposed to 13.0 percent 
in 1992), the youthfulness of the jazz audience in 1982 is particularly notable. 
Two-thirds of jazz attenders in 1982 (67 percent) were under age 35; four-fifths 
(81 percent) were under age 45. 

One striking finding concerns the behavior of the oldest age group. In 1982, 
participation rates by those over 75 were insignificant. This is not surprising for 
jazz attendance, since advanced age inhibits the ability to attend live perform- 



Demographic Characteristics of the Jazz Audience I 21 

ances across the board. But the figures for media participation were also very 
low: only 4 percent watched jazz on television, only 2 percent listened to jazz 
radio, only 1 percent listened to jazz recordings. The corresponding figures for 
the over-75 group for 1992 were much higher: 12 percent for television and 
radio, 7 percent for recordings. 

One logical explanation for this phenomenon is that the over-75 group in 
1982 consisted of those Americans born before 1907, who became young adults 
in the years before 1925. The bulk of this group came of age before the 
emergence of jazz in the 1920s or overlapped with the earliest jazz styles that 
have largely passed from favor with mainstream audiences today. If musical 
tastes are formed in youth, it is not surprising to find this age cohort indifferent 
to jazz. 

For many within the over-75 group in 1992, however, jazz was part of their 
youthful experience. They came of age in the years from 1915 to 1935 — thus 
overlapping not only with early jazz, but with the swing dance band styles that 
were part of the musical landscape in the early 1 930s and that found widespread 
acceptance by the end of the decade (the Swing Era). This suggests that the 
"greying" trend for jazz in the future may not be limited to a shift of the core 
audience from the youngest adults to the 25-to-44 group, but may involve 
increasing participation in jazz by older Americans. 

Cohort analysis shows that members of the baby boom generation (which 
roughly corresponds to the 25-to-44 age groups in the SPPA and includes those 
born between 1948 and 1967) are declining in their rate of attendance at live 
jazz performances, while the participation rates for older cohorts have increased. 

The NEA monograph on age gives more detailed information on cohort 
analysis. 



Race 

One of the most intriguing — and controversial — areas for demographic 
analysis is race. Any discussion of the racial makeup of the jazz audience 
inevitably raises the contentious social issue of ethnic cultural identity. 

Ethnicity is a potentially divisive issue in the arts and often not directly 
addressed. In the spirit of pluralism and democracy, one may prefer to gloss over 
the ways in which art articulates ethnic difference, celebrating instead its 
capacity to transcend racial, national, and religious divisions. Mozart is not 
thought of as a Viennese composer but as an artist with "universal" appeal. To 
the extent that race surfaces at all in classical music, it is with reference to an 
imperfectly realized ideal of inclusion. Once African Americans were barred 
from the concert hall, both as performers and audience. Today, arts adminis- 



22 I Jazz in America 



trators worry over perennially low rates of participation by minorities and plan 
strategies to include and involve them. 

Why, then, should the question of ethnicity be so contentious for jazz? The 
answer is that alone among the art forms surveyed by the SPPA, jazz has historic 
roots in African American culture. Given the tangled and tragic history of race 
relations in this country, it is hardly surprising to find conflicting interpretations 
of the place of jazz in American culture and its ultimate political significance. 
Is jazz best understood as the music of black Americans — an art form shaped 
by, and uniquely expressive of, the struggle of an embattled minority for cultural 
autonomy? Or is it a music that demonstrates through its widespread appeal the 
irrelevance of race in a pluralistic society? 

These are not questions that an appeal to the historical record can easily 
resolve. On the one hand, the distinctive musical language of jazz clearly derives 
from African American (and ultimately African) folk traditions. Many of the 
most important creators and innovators within the jazz tradition — Louis Arm- 
strong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John 
Coltrane — have been black. On the other hand, jazz has from its inception 
depended upon white audiences for support and has been shaped by the 
contributions of white musicians. Nearly all serious treatments of jazz have 
emphasized its ethnic character; and yet many (if not all) underscore the 
complex interactions between black and white that have given the lie to the 
myth of unbridgeable racial division. 

The broader philosophical and political implications of these arguments are 
obviously beyond the boundaries of this monograph. I have broached them here 
not only because they must be borne in mind when interpreting the data, but 
because statistics from the 1982 SPPA have already been drawn into the debate. 
In his 1993 book, Jazz: The American Theme Song, James Lincoln Collier argues 
forcefully against the interpretation that would situate jazz unambiguously 
within black culture: 

There are thousands of white jazz fans who have devoted lifetimes to the music, 
and bitterly resent being told that jazz is not theirs. Nonetheless, the official 
position, which obtains in college and university programs, granting organi- 
zations, and scholarly institutions like Lincoln Center, is that jazz is black 
music. 25 

To reinforce his argument, Collier draws on the summary by Harold 
Horowitz of the data on the jazz audience drawn from the 1982 SPPA, 
emphasizing both the modest size of the total audience for jazz and the overall 
predominance of whites. While noting that "fifteen percent of blacks, as against 
nine percent of whites, attended a jazz performance in the surveyed year," Collier 
argues, 



Demographic Characteristics of the Jazz Audience I 23 



The black audience for jazz is relatively [emphasis in original] larger than the 
white audience; but it is also clear, given that a lot of the respondents had only 
listened to jazz a few times in the course of a year, that jazz is of serious interest 
only to a small percentage of blacks — probably not more than ten percent. It 
can hardly be said, therefore, that jazz today somehow reflects anything that 
can be called a "black ethos." And it is also clear that the bulk of the audience 
for jazz is white. 

Statistics alone cannot resolve this complex and emotionally charged debate. 
But the figures from the 1992 SPPA provide at least an updated empirical 
foundation upon which to attempt a reconsideration of the issue. 

As with other aspects of jazz participation, there are different ways of 
assessing the quantitative differences between black and white participation. 
One is to point out that the audience remains predominantly white. White 
Americans make up 81 percent of the jazz attenders, 78 percent of those 
watching jazz on television or listening to jazz recordings, and 79 percent of 
those listening to jazz on the radio. This simply reflects the numerical predomi- 
nance of whites in the population. African Americans, who account for 1 1 
percent of the population as a whole, make up 17 percent of jazz attenders, 18 
percent of the radio audience, 19 percent of the television audience, and nearly 
20 percent of those who listen to jazz recordings. The remainder (2 to 3 percent) 
is accounted for by the category "other" (Asians, Native Americans). 

Another approach is to underscore the difference in participation rates. 
African Americans consistently participate in jazz at a higher rate than white 
Americans: they are one and a half times as likely to attend jazz performances 
and even more likely to participate in jazz through the media. Figure 5 shows 
the 1992 racial distribution of jazz audiences for all forms of participation. The 
data, comparing as they do the relatively expensive activity of live attendance 
with the free media of radio and TV and the easily shared medium of recordings, 
suggest that economic factors have limited the ability of black Americans to 
attend jazz performances. It is also possible that black Americans feel less 
comfortable attending public events in which they are likely to be a decided 
minority and more comfortable with the relative flexibility and privacy of media 

27 

participation. 

The contrast with other benchmark arts activities is striking. Jazz is the 
only art form in which African Americans are more likely to participate than 
white Americans. Moreover, this disparity has been consistent over time. 
Figures from 1982 show the same pattern: blacks participating in jazz at 
significantly higher rates than whites, while participating in other art forms at 
significantly lower rates. If one is looking for evidence of a cultural divide — a 
polarization in patterns of arts consumption along ethnic lines — one need look 
no further than jazz. 



24 I Jazz in America 



FIGURE 5. 1992 Racial Distributions of Jazz Audiences 



U.S. Population TV Recordings 



I Live Attendance Radio 




White 



Black 



Other 



The data on those who express a desire to attend more concerts suggest that 
the black audience for jazz performance could easily be considerably larger. 
Overall, 25.2 percent of the population expressed a desire to attend more jazz 
concerts. Breaking this figure down by race shows that while less than a quarter 
(22 percent) of whites expressed such a desire, nearly half (49 percent) of African 
Americans did. Granted, expressing the desire to attend is not the same thing 
as attending; but this figure exceeds the percentage of any ethnic group 
expressing an interest in attending more of any an form. The projected potential 
audience for jazz of 46.5 million would still be predominantly white, but black 
involvement would be 22 percent — double the percentage of African Americans 
in the population as a whole. 

The NEA monograph on race gives more information, including the use of 
Multiple Classification Analysis to separate education as a factor. 

The polarity of the data for black Americans and white Americans in jazz 
participation makes it easy to overlook the additional miscellaneous ethnic 
grouping of "other" in the survey. For the most part, those identifying them- 
selves as "other" participated in jazz at roughly the same rates as white Ameri- 
cans. The only noticeable difference came with attendance, where the rates for 
"other" were significantly lower (5.5 percent, as opposed to 10.1 percent of 
whites and 16.2 percent of blacks). This does not correspond with the 1982 



Demographic Characteristics of the Jazz Audience I 25 



figures, where the reported attendance behavior for the category "other" was 
indistinguishable from that of white Americans. 

Additional information on racial polarization in musical taste appears in the 
sections on frequency of attendance and musical preferences. 



Gender 

The racial politics of jazz has understandably overshadowed consideration 
of its sexual politics. And yet the audience for jazz shows an unmistakable tilt 
toward males that is anomalous among the benchmark arts activities surveyed 
by the SPPA. 

The participation rates for attending jazz performances were 11.9 percent 
for men and 9.4 percent for women. Were men and women evenly distributed 
in the population, the audience would consist of 56 percent men, 44 percent 
women. But since women outnumber men by a ratio of approximately 13:12, 
the actual disparity in the audience is somewhat less: 54 percent men, 46 percent 
women. 

These figures are striking, however, in the context of the other benchmark 
arts activities. For art museums and opera, women are as likely as men to 
participate; for the remaining genres (classical music, musicals, theater, and 
ballet) women are significantly more likely to participate. Jazz thus stands out 
as an arts discipline in which men predominate. Compare, for example, the 
figures for jazz with the participation rates for attendance at classical music 
concerts. For men, the rates are essentially equivalent to those for jazz: 11.5 
percent for classical, 1 1.9 percent for jazz. The rates for women, on the other 
hand, diverge sharply: 13.4 percent for classical, 9.4 percent for jazz. The result 
is that for classical music, the gender disparity runs in the opposite direction: 
44 percent men, 56 percent women. 

Among those who express a desire to attend more jazz performances, the 
gender disparity widens slightly. Twenty-nine percent of men, as opposed to 22 
percent of women, express such a desire, resulting in a potential audience for 
jazz that is 55 percent male, 45 percent female. 

A slightly less pronounced gender disparity is found in participation in jazz 
through the media. For TV and recordings, 23 percent of men and 19 percent 
of women report participation, resulting in a projected audience that is 53 
percent male, 47 percent female. The figures for radio (participation rates of 31 
percent for men, 26 percent for women) result in an audience that is 52 percent 
male, 48 percent female. (The sense of many in the music industry is that the 
audience for jazz radio and recordings is even more heavily male, especially for 
those above age 35. 29 But it must be emphasized that the figures make no 



26 I Jazz in America 



distinction between casual and dedicated consumers.) As with attendance, the 
gender disparity runs counter to the data for other benchmark arts activities, in 
which women are at least as likely, and often more likely, to participate through 
the media. 

A cross-tabulation of sex and race for jazz attendance shows a slightly greater 
gender disparity among African Americans. Fifty-six percent of the black 
audience is male, compared with 53 percent of the white audience. 

Additional information on gender disparity can be found in the sections on 
frequency of attendance and musical preference. 



Geography 

Geographic measures derived from the SPPA are relatively coarse. The data 
distinguish among populations in areas of various densities: those living in the 
central city of a metropolitan area (or SMSA), those living within an SMSA but 
not in the central city (i.e., in suburbs), and those living in rural areas. The data 
are also broken down into four broad regions: West, Midwest, South, and 
Northeast. Figure 6 shows the geographic distribution of the 1992 participants 
in jazz through the media. 

Of the four geographic regions, the West shows significantly higher levels 
of participation in all forms of media. This disparity is most pronounced in jazz 
radio: 35 percent of those in the West report listening to jazz radio, compared 
with the national average of 28 percent. But figures for recordings (24 percent 
in the West, 2 1 percent nationwide) and TV (25 percent in the West, 2 1 percent 
nationwide) confirm a broad-based trend. 

Other regions are somewhat less easy to characterize. The Northeast is close 
to the national average in all three categories, the South slightly below (especially 
in radio). The Midwest is more noticeably below the national average in all three 
categories. 



Demographic Profiles by Frequency of Attendance 

The new questions in the 1992 SPPA concerning the frequency of atten- 
dance at live performances over a 12-month period make it possible to explore 
new aspects of audience participation. For one thing, the data clearly show that 
the majority of those reporting jazz attendance are what one might call "casual" 
consumers. Of the roughly 10 percent of the adult population who have 
attended a jazz performance, nearly half (44 percent) did so only once. Another 
quarter (26 percent) attended only twice. This means that adults who attended 



Demographic Characteristics of the Jazz Audience I 27 



FIGURE 6, 



1992 Media Participation in Jazz by 
Geographic Region 



West 


Midwest j 


1 South 


W 


Northeast 




Radio 



Recordings 



jazz as little as once every four months make up about 3 percent of the total 
adult population. 

And yet that 3 percent attended often enough to pull the average number 
of attendances up to 2.9 per year. (This figure is based on the average number 
of attendances for those who reported attendance, not the population as a 
whole.) This figure is higher than those reported for classical music (2.6), plays 
(2.4), musicals (2.3), opera (1.7), and ballet (1.7). The dedicated jazz audience 
may be relatively small (relative to popular music genres, not other art forms), 
but it is loyal and intense. 

What are the demographic characteristics of this more dedicated group? 
There are two trends that clearly emerge from the data and reinforce earlier 
findings in this monograph: as the audience becomes more dedicated, it 
becomes more male and more African American. 



Frequency of attendance and race and gender 

The relatively casual consumers who attended only one jazz event show few 
of the distinctive characteristics of the jazz audience. First of all, 54.4 percent 



28 I Jazz in America 



are female — much closer to the population as a whole (52.1 percent) than to 
the figure for all attenders (46.2 percent). The racial mix also more nearly 
corresponds to the population as a whole. Whites account for 85.8 percent of 
those who attended only once (and they account for 85.3 percent of the 
population as a whole, 81.2 percent of jazz attenders), while blacks account for 
12.3 percent of those who attended only once (and 1 1.4 percent of population 
as a whole, 17.3 percent of jazz attenders). 

As the frequency of attendance increases, the gender and racial disparities 
characteristic of the jazz-attending audience as a whole steadily emerge. The 
characteristics of those attending at least three times a year (the average for the 
group as a whole) correspond roughly to the characteristics for the group as a 
whole: the percentage of males rises to 54.7, of African Americans to 17.9. By 
the time one reaches the relatively tiny numbers that attend nine or more times 
a year (0.6 percent of the total population), nearly 60 percent are male and 
nearly 25 percent are black. While it is risky to place much weight on precise 
numbers for samples as small as these (74 people out of the 12,739 interviewed 
for the SPPA), the overall trend is unmistakable. 

Of course, these figures do not take into account the disproportions in the 
population at large. In other words, there are more females than males and 
significantly more white Americans than African Americans. As frequency of 
attendance increases, the participation rates for males and African Americans 
become much higher than corresponding rates for females and white Americans. 
Male participation rates run roughly 60 percent higher; black participation rates 
more than double. Table 2 shows the distribution of frequency of attendance 
at jazz performances by race and gender. 



Frequency of attendance and age 

Figures 7a and 7b present two illustrations of the distributions of frequency 
of attendance and age at jazz events. The age distribution of those who attended 
only one event in the last year corresponds closely to the age distribution of 
jazz attenders as a whole — with one significant exception: the age groups 55 
years and older are disproportionately represented. This is hardly surprising, 
since the older age groups (especially the 75-and-older group) can hardly be 
expected to share the stamina for late-night music shown by the younger 
groups. As frequency increases, the participation by older age groups (includ- 
ing, in this instance, the 45-to-54 group) begins to decrease noticeably. But 
interestingly, so does participation by the 18-to-24 group, which peaks at "at 
least two" attendances (13.4 percent) and drops off thereafter. The group that 
absorbs the slack is the 25-to-34 group, which accounts for more than 40 



Demographic Characteristics of the Jazz Audience I 29 



TABLE 2. Frequency of Attendance, Gender, and Race 

(Unweighted)* 



Times attended 


% Male 


% Female 


% White 


% Black 


Once only 


45.6 


54.4 


85.8 


12.3 


At least 2 


51.2 


48.8 


81.7 


16.7 


At least 3 


54.7 


45.3 


80.1 


17.9 


At least 4 


56.1 


43.9 


78.8 


19.6 


At least 5 


54.9 


45.1 


78.3 


20.1 


At least 6 


57.7 


42.3 


78.8 


20.4 


At least 7 


58.2 


41.8 


76.9 


22.0 


At least 8 


59.6 


40.4 


76.4 


22.5 


At least 9 


59.5 


40.5 


74.3 


24.3 



*The term "unweighted" means that the percentages have not been adjusted for the 
fraction of the adult American population each group composes. 

NOTE: The percentages for race do not add up to 1 00 because they do not include the 
category "Other/' 



FIGURE 7a. 1992 Frequency of Attendance and Age 



Frequency 



Q. 
3 
O 

U 

u 

c 
o> 

3 
O" 



re 



c 
<v 
u 

i_ 
Q- 



1 1 


1 2 


■ 3 I 


■ 4 


■ 5 


□ 6+ 




18-24 25-34 



35-44 45-54 55-64 
Age Groups 



65-74 



75+ 



30 I Jazz in America 



FIGURE 7b. 1992 Frequency of Attendance and Age 

(Alternative Presentation) 



Age 



Q_ 
3 
O 



u 

c 

<v 

3 



u 

fS 
uu 



c 
u 



18-24 
25-34 



35-44 



55-64 



75+ 



45-54 65-74 



45- 
40- 
35- 
30- 
25- 
20- 
15- 
10- 

5 

0- 





n 



□. 





3 4 

Frequency of Attendance 



6+ 



percent of all of those who attended at least six times (i.e., an average of every 
two months). 

Frequency of attendance and education 

No clear trend emerges to describe frequency of attendance and education, 
except a confirmation of the general finding that lower educational levels (grade 
school, some high school) are significantly underrep resented in the jazz audi- 
ence, while higher levels are overrepresented. 

Frequency of attendance and income 

As with education, frequency of attendance shows no dramatic correlation 
with income. The demographic profile for income of those who attended only 
one jazz concert in the previous year corresponds closely to the profile for jazz 
attenders as a whole. The absence of change is striking, for one might expect 



Demographic Characteristics of the Jazz Audience I 31 

the more frequent attenders to be more affluent. But in fact, the percentage of 
frequent attenders who earn more than $50,000 actually declines with fre- 
quency, from just over 30 percent of one-time-only attenders to about 20 
percent of those attending at least seven times. The percentage of those earning 
between $25,000 and $50,000 rises slightly, from 33 percent of one-time-only 
attenders to just under 40 percent of those attending at least seven times. Again, 
because the samples are so small at these levels, one should not place any weight 
on these findings. But they do suggest that one need not enjoy a high income 
to find a place in the inner circle of jazz aficionados. 

Demographic Profile of Subscribers to Jazz Magazines 

Another way of obtaining a more detailed profile of the most dedicated jazz 
audience is to examine the readership profiles of national jazz magazines. Two 
such magazines, Jazz Times and Jazziz, have cooperated by releasing the results 
of their current demographic research. The audiences of these magazines are 
small; Jazziz, for example, has a paid circulation of 93,600 and an estimated 
readership of approximately 250,000 (or slightly more than 0.1 percent of the 
adult population). But this self-selected group is intensely involved in jazz. 
Approximately 50 percent of the readership of Jazziz attend a jazz performance 
at least 12 times a year (i.e., once a month). About a third of the readers of Jazz 
Times report that they attend jazz performances more than once a month. 

Because the groupings for age, income, and education used by Jazziz and 
Jazz Times do not correspond to the categories used in the SPPA (or with each 
other), direct comparisons are not easy to make. The majority of readers of both 
magazines fall between the ages of 25 and 44: approximately 44 percent of Jazziz 
readers and 32 percent of Jazz Times readers fall into the 25-to-34 age group, 
while 34 percent of both Jazziz and Jazz Times readers fall into the 35-to-44 
group. (The figures for Jazziz are actually for ages 26 to 35 and 36 to 45.) This 
indicates a somewhat greater concentration of the audience in these age group- 
ings than that reported for the jazz audience as a whole, corresponding roughly 
to the findings from increased frequency of attendance. Of those who reported 
attending at least six jazz events, for example, about 64 percent fell between 25 
and 44, compared with 53 percent of those who attended only once. 

Jazz magazine readers are on the whole more educated than the jazz audience 
in general. Eighty-two percent of Jazz Times readers and 92 percent of Jazziz 
readers report at least attending college, compared with 78 percent of the jazz 
audience as a whole (and 45 percent of the total adult population). And they 
are considerably more affluent — not surprisingly, since subscription to a spe- 
cialty magazine is a good indicator of economic stability. Among Jazziz readers, 



32 I Jazz in America 



62.2 percent had a household income of at least $50,000, with a median 
household income of $71,000. Ninety percent of Jazz Times readers had a 
household income of at least $40,000, with an average household income of 
$67,000. The affluence of the readership of these specialty magazines can be 
measured through consumption as well. Seventy percent of Jazz Times readers 
purchase jazz videos (an average of nine per year), and 77 percent purchase jazz 
books (an average of four per year). They purchase an average of nine compact 
discs per month. Sixty-six percent attended jazz festivals in the United States, 
and an additional 1 1 percent attended festivals overseas. Among Jazziz readers, 
28 percent own more than 300 compact discs, 78 percent attend jazz festivals, 
and 64 percent purchase jazz videos. 

The most distinguishing demographic characteristics, however, are gender 
and race. Both Jazziz and Jazz Times report a surprisingly high (and surprisingly 
identical) figure for the percentage of their readers that is male: 89.4. While this 
corresponds to the general trend toward an increasingly male audience noted in 
the frequency statistics, the extreme disparity merits additional consideration. 
Perhaps some magazines are read by a married couple, but the subscription is 
held in the husband's name. But it is certainly possible that the desire to augment 
the passion for jazz with such ancillary patterns of consumption as magazine 
subscriptions and the purchase of jazz videos is a distinctively male trait (or, to 
put it in the vernacular, a "guy thing"). 

Both magazines also show a disproportionately high percentage of African 
American readers. For Jazz Times, the reported black readership is 24 percent; 
for Jazziz, 29.9 percent. (Bear in mind that African Americans make up 1 1.4 
percent of the total adult population.) Given that these magazines draw upon 
a readership that is disproportionately affluent and well educated — sectors of 
the population in which African Americans are underrepresented — the excep- 
tionally high participation of African Americans suggests a strong link between 
ethnicity and intense dedication to jazz. 



Musical Preferences 




One of the most revealing sections of the SPPA is the portion that assesses 
musical preferences, for here, jazz is not simply one of several officially 
sanctioned arts but must be situated against the complex and shifting back- 
ground of popular musical taste. The survey asked respondents to identify which 
of 20 musical genres they "liked" and subsequently which of these genres they 
preferred above all others ("liked best of all"). Thus, respondents were invited 
to distinguish between jazz and other related genres, such as blues, soul, big 
band, or new age, as well as to compare their feelings about jazz with their 
feelings about such diverse genres as country, bluegrass, reggae, and parade 
music. The list also included hymns/gospel, choral/glee club, mood/easy listen- 
ing, contemporary folk, ethnic (national tradition), rock, Latin/Spanish/Salsa, 
rap, operetta/musical comedy, opera, and classical/chamber music. 



Those Who "Like Jazz" 

The overall demographic profile for those who express a liking for jazz 
corresponds closely to the demographic profiles for the various forms of 
participation in jazz. The rates climb steadily with income and education 
(although, as before, the percentage of the income group "under $5,000" is 
anomalously high). The highest rates are found in the 25-to-34 age group, 
declining steadily thereafter. Blacks and males show higher rates of preference 
than whites and females. 

The numbers, however, are considerably higher than those for participation. 
More than a third (34 percent) of adult Americans, or approximately 63 million 
people, express a liking for jazz. Moreover, these numbers show a sharp increase 
from 1982, when the comparable figures were 26 percent, or 43 million. 

Table 3 shows the age distribution of those who "liked jazz" in 1982 and 
1992. The comparison shows a significant change in age distribution over the 
decade. 

There are several ways of examining these data. The first is to look at the 
percentages within each age group who report liking jazz (the number not in 
parentheses). By this measure, only the 18-to-24 age group has remained stable. 
All the remaining groups show a sharp increase, with the largest increases coming 



33 



34 I Jazz in America 



TABLE 3. 


Age Distribution of Respondents Who Liked Jazz in 




1982 and 1992 








1982 


1992 


% 


who report 


% of total 


% who report 


% of total 


Age 


liking jazz 


"jazz likers" 


liking jazz 


"jazz likers" 


18-24 


32 


(21.5) 


30 


(11.8) 


25-34 


33 


(29.7) 


40 


(27.4) 


35-44 


23 


(14.7) 


38 


(24.5) 


45-54 


27 


(14.0) 


32 


(14.4) 


55-64 


23 


(11.9) 


29 


(9.9) 


65-74 


17 


(6.3) 


26 


[7J) 


75+ 


8 


(1.9) 


21 


(4.3) 



in the 35-to-44 and 75-and-over age groups. This reflects the overall increase 
in the numbers of those who like jazz. The overall distribution in both surveys 
is the same — a peak in both rate and sheer numbers at 25 to 34 — but the rise 
to this peak is more steep in 1992 than in 1982, and the falloff much more 
gradual. 

Another way of examining the data is to consider what percentage of the 
total is attributable to each age group (the number in parentheses) — to see, in 
other words, how the uneven patterns of growth have redistributed the relative 
sizes of the various age groups that report liking jazz. This measure shows a sharp 
decline by the 18-to-24 group, and sharp increases by the 35-to-44 and 
75-and-over groups. 

Finally, one may examine the tastes of age cohorts. This suggests that the 
relatively high enthusiasm for jazz by 1 8-to-24-year-olds and 25-to-34-year-olds 
in 1982 has translated into correspondingly high enthusiasm for jazz by 
25-to-34-year-olds and 35-to-44-year-olds in 1992 (even if the enthusiasm has 
not necessarily been translated into greater participation through attendance or 
the media). Similarly, one can connect the preference for jazz of the 65-to-74 
group in 1982 with the higher rates for those 75 and older in 1992. 

Not surprisingly, the third of all adult Americans who "like jazz" participate 
in jazz at much higher rates than the population as a whole: 49 percent watch 
jazz on television in some form, 50 percent listen to jazz recordings, and 67 
percent listen to jazz radio. Even higher percentages of those who participate 
say that they like jazz: 77 percent of those who watch jazz on television, 81 
percent of those who listen to jazz radio, and 86 percent of those who listen to 



Musical Preferences 35 



jazz recordings. This still means, however, that sizeable percentages of those who 
participated in some way in jazz do not report that they like the music. These 
percentages are higher for the free broadcast media (19 percent for radio, 23 
percent for television) than for recordings. 



Those Who Like Jazz "Best of All" 

The percentage of the adult population who say they like jazz "best of all" 
musical genres is considerably smaller than those who simply say they "like jazz": 
5 percent as opposed to 34 percent. But this still translates into approximately 
9.5 million Americans for whom jazz is preferred above all musical genres, and 
it represents a substantial increase over the comparable figures (3 percent, or 5 
million) reported for 1982. 

The demographic profile of this more dedicated audience reveals the same 
tendency toward disproportionate representation by males and African Ameri- 
cans already noted among those who attend jazz performances more frequently. 
Slightly more men (54 percent) than women "like jazz"; among those who like 
jazz "best of all," the ratio of men to women widens to nearly 7:3 (68 percent 
to 32 percent). African Americans constitute 1 8 percent of those who "like jazz," 
but 33 percent of those who like jazz "best of all." The percentage of African 
Americans who belong to this latter category (16 percent) is four times as great 
as that for white Americans (4 percent) . 

Shifts in age and education between those who "like jazz" and those who 
like it "best of all" are more subtle. Those who like jazz "best of all" are slightly 
less likely than those who "like jazz" to be either very young or very old: the 
highest rates are found in the 35-to-44 age group (6.4 percent). They are also 
slightly more likely to be more highly educated. Income figures, on the other 
hand, are essentially identical for the two categories. 

Quite logically, those who "like jazz best" are much more inclined to 
participate in jazz. Forty- four percent attend jazz performances; 74 percent 
watch jazz in some form on television; 79 percent listen to jazz recordings; and 
89 percent listen to jazz radio — indicating that radio is a medium for dissemi- 
nation of the music to nearly all serious jazz fans. 

Nevertheless, the broad audience for jazz radio shows the lowest proportion 
of dedicated jazz fans — albeit by a narrow margin: 1 6 percent of those who listen 
to jazz radio report liking jazz best, compared with 18 percent of those who 
watch jazz on television in some form, 20 percent of those who attend jazz 
performances, and 21 percent of those who listen to jazz recordings. 



36 I Jazz in America 

Preference for Jazz in Relation to Other Musical Genres 

The detailed demographic information on those expressing preference for 
the other 1 9 musical genres surveyed in the SPPA provides an intriguing and 
highly useful way of situating the taste for jazz in a broader social context. 

Where does jazz fall in this broad spectrum of musical taste? All 20 musical 
genres are included in the discussions of music liked "best of all." Unfortunately 
the data are flawed for those who "like" the four categories of new age, mood/easy, 
choral/glee, and gospel/hymns. These genres are therefore omitted from the 
following discussions of music "liked." Of the 16 other genres, jazz ranks fifth, 
between big bands and classical/chamber music. Country and western is the most 
popular genre, as it was in 1982 and 1985. It is the only musical genre that more 
than half of adult Americans say they like, while jazz and classical music are liked 
by about one-third of them. Table 4 shows the percentages of respondents who 
said they "liked" the 1 genres that were most popular. 

The position of jazz is approximately the same when the question is which 
genre is preferred above all others. Several genres — blues, bluegrass, and show 
tunes — prove to have wide but shallow appeal and drop in rank. Others, such 
as jazz and classical, have a more dedicated following and rise in the standings, 
which now include mood and gospel. Country and rock, the dominant genres 
of popular music, lead the list (followed by the 1 3 percent who declined to name 
a favorite genre). Religious and mood music follow, with the two dominant "art 
music" genres, jazz and classical, not far behind. (Opera reports a much smaller 
audience.) Table 5 shows thepercentages of respondents who reported liking 1 
of 10 musical genres "best of all." 



TABLE 4. Percentages of Respondents 


Who Liked the 10 


Most Popular Musical Genres 


Genre 


Percentage 


1 . Country/western 


52 


2. Rock 


44 


3. Blues/R&B 


40 


4. Big band 


35 


5. Jazz 


34 


6. Classical/chamber 


33 


7. Bluegrass 


29 


8. Show tunes/operettas 


28 


9. Soul 


24 


10. Folk 


23 



Musical Preferences 37 



TABLE 5. Percentages of Respondents 


Who Liked a Musical 


Genre Best of All* 






Genre 




Percentage 


1 . Country 




21 


2. Rock 




14 


3. Hymns/gospel 




9 


4. Mood/easy 




9 


5. Classical 




6 


6. Jazz 




5 


7. Big band 




4 


8. Ethnic 




3 


9. Latin 




3 


10. Blues 




3 


*1 3% of the respondents 


indicated they preferred "no one type." 



Where does the distinctive demographic profile of the jazz audience fall in 
relation to those of other genres? To answer the question, each demographic 
factor must be considered separately. 

Education 

The rates for liking a given musical genre tend to rise steadily with 
educational level (the exceptions are country and rock). Jazz rises more steeply 
than most, from 1 percent of those with a grade school education to nearly 
half of college graduates, but it does not show the substantial increase for 
graduate school that classical, opera, and musicals show. Among those with 
some college education, rock (54 percent), country (50 percent), and blues (50 
percent) show a broader appeal than jazz (42 percent). Among college graduates, 
rock (54 percent) and classical music (5 1 percent) are liked by more respondents 
than jazz (50 percent) and blues (50 percent). Among those with graduate 
degrees, the number expressing a liking for jazz (54 percent) trails classical music 
(65 percent) and blues (59 percent). Figure 8 shows the percentages of each 
educational group that liked some selected genres in 1992. 

The percentage of people in each education category who "like jazz best" 
increases steadily with increasing education. Rock and country attract sizeable 
percentages for all groups (although country steadily declines), while classical 
music shows the strongest gains. Those with graduate education are the most 
likely to report preferring no one genre (17 percent), followed by preferences 



38 I Jazz in America 



FIGURE 8. Musical Taste and Education, 1 992 (Percentages 
Who Reported "Liking" Various Genres) 



Q. 
3 
O 
i_ 

jj 

A3 

C 

_o 

ns 
u 

13 

-o 

LU 



c 

u 

a. 



70- 
60- 
50- 
40- 
30- 
20- 
10- 
0- 



Jazz — ♦— Musicals — A— Folk 

Classical D Blues — ^~ Country 



«- Rock 
Mood/ 



43 



Easy 



-A - Opera O Big Band 




Grade 
School 



Some 

High 

School 



High 

School 

Graduate 



Some College Graduate 

College Graduate School 



for classical (15 percent), rock (12 percent), country (9 percent), and jazz 
percent). 



(8 



Income 

The patterns for income are similar to those for education: steady rises with 
income for most genres, including jazz. (The exceptions are rap, soul, Latin, 
and country.) For jazz, this ascent is preceded by a relatively high rate for the 
income group under $5,000 noted earlier — a pattern shared by reggae and blues. 
In this lowest income group, substantially higher percentages express a liking 



Musical Preferences 39 



for country (43 percent), rock (36 percent), and blues (35 percent) than for jazz 
(27 percent). More people in the highest income group ($50,000 and above) 
like rock (55 percent), blues (52 percent), and country (48 percent) than jazz 
and classical (47 percent each). 

The rates of those who "like jazz best" similarly rise with income, although 
far less steeply. Those in the $25,000-to-$50,000 and the $50,000-and- above 
groups are only slightly more likely than the national average to prefer jazz to 
all other genres (6 percent and 7 percent, respectively). In the highest income 
group, jazz advocates (7 percent) are outnumbered by devotees for rock (17 
percent), "no one type" (14 percent), mood (13 percent), country (11 percent), 
and classical (10 percent). 



Age 

Several distinct patterns appear for musical taste with respect to age. One 
large category shows markedly increased interest with age, with the most notable 
increase occurring for big band. Others in this category are classical, opera, and 
musicals. Another category consists of genres for which interest decreases 
steadily with age: reggae, rap, soul, and rock. Jazz fits into a third category: those 
genres that rise to a peak somewhere in the middle before declining with age. 
Folk, blues, country, and bluegrass show the same trend. The peak for jazz is in 
the 25-to-34 age group, where it appeals to 41 percent, placing it behind rock 
(59 percent), country (50 percent), easy (47 percent), and blues (46 percent) in 
popularity. Figure 9 shows the percentages of each age group that reported liking 
some selected musical genres in 1992. 

The rates of those who "like jazz best" show a far less clearly defined pattern. 
Slightly above-average percentages are found in the broad range of 25-to-64- 
year-olds, with significantly lower figures in the youngest and oldest groups. 



Race 

The data on musical preference clearly show that musical taste in this country 
is stratified by race. Only a few genres are relatively "race-neutral." The remaining 
genres tend to be strongly identified with one race or another. White Americans 
show strong likings for country (57 percent), rock (46 percent), big band (37 
percent), classical (35 percent), and bluegrass (33 percent). (The corresponding 
figures for black Americans are much lower: country, 19 percent; rock, 23 
percent; classical, 18 percent; bluegrass, 12 percent.) Black Americans show 
strong likings for soul (68 percent), reggae (43 percent), and rap (34 percent). 



40 I Jazz in America 



FIGURE 9. Musical Taste and Age, 1 992 (Percentages Who 
Reported "Liking" Various Genres) 



■B— Jazz ♦ Musicals A Folk 

■•— Classical B Blues — $— Country — B 

■A - Opera O Big Band 



«- Rock 
Mood/ 



Easy 




18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 75-96 



There are rwo genres that, although most strongly liked by black audiences, 
also have a significant white audience. Blues is liked by 59 percent of black 
Americans and by 38 percent of white Americans; jazz is liked by 54 percent of 
blacks and 32 percent of whites. Because white Americans greatly outnumber 
black Americans, the racial distribution of the jazz-liking audience is still roughly 
the same as for participation: 80 percent white, 18 percent black, 2 percent 
"other." (The distribution for blues is essentially the same: 81 percent white, 17 
percent black, 2 percent "other.") But the figures clearly show that more than 
half of all black Americans report a liking for jazz — a percentage that is 
comparable to the number of white Americans who like country music. Table 
6 shows the 1 musical genres that black respondents most frequently said they 



Musical Preferences 41 



TABLE 6. 


Musical Genres Liked by 


Black Americans 
Percentage who 




Genre 


"liked" the genre 


1. Soul 


68 




2. Blues 


59 




3. Jazz 


54 




4. Reggae 


43 




5. Rap 


34 




6. Ethnic 


30 




7. Latin 


25 




8. Rock 


23 




9. Big band 


22 




10. Classical/chamber 


18 



"liked" and the percentages who liked them. Table 7 shows the counterpart 
genres and percentages for whites. 

The figures for the genres liked "best of all" show an even more prominent 
racial polarization. There is very little overlap in the top seven genres by race, 
and even with these, racial disparity is evident. Religious music (gospel) is by 
far the genre most preferred by blacks (30 percent), while it commands the 
allegiance of only 7 percent of whites. Nine percent of whites prefer mood music 
above all other genres, compared with 4 percent of blacks. Country and rock, 
preferred above all others by large percentages by white Americans (24 percent 



TABLE 7. 


Musical Genres Liked by 


White Americans 
Percentage who 




Genre 


"liked" the genre 


1 . Country 


57 




2. Rock 


46 




3. Blues 


38 




4. Big band 


37 




5. Classical/chamber 


35 




6. Bluegrass 


33 




7. Jazz 


32 




8. Show tunes/operettas 


30 




9. Folk 


24 




10. Ethnic 


21 



42 I Jazz in America 

and 16 percent, respectively), show relatively little support among black Ameri- 
cans. Similarly, soul, blues, rap, and reggae have significantly higher percentages 
of black adherents than white. 

Jazz lands in the top seven genres for both races — testimony once again to 
its cross-ethnic appeal. But jazz ranks second only to religious music among 
blacks, with a remarkably high 16 percent preferring it above all other types of 
music. Only 4 percent of white Americans express a similar commitment to 
jazz — well behind the numbers for country, rock, mood, religious, classical, and 
big band. 

The racial distribution of this dedicated audience for jazz is still predomi- 
nantly white (63 percent), but a third (34 percent) are black — three times the 
percentage of black Americans in the population as a whole. Jazz joins soul, 
reggae, rap, blues, and religious music as genres for which the dedicated audience 
is at least one-third black. 

Table 8 shows the percentages of blacks who liked particular genres "best of 
all." Table 9 shows the equivalent percentages for the top seven genres for whites. 

Table 10 shows, for six of the most popular musical genres, what percentage 
of the audience that liked this genre best is black. These percentages should be 
compared with the 1 1 percent of the U.S. population that is black. 



TABLE 8. 


Musical Genres Liked Best 


by Black Americans* 




- 




Percentage who 




Genre 




"liked best" 


1 . Hymns/gospel 




30 




2. Jazz 




16 




3. Soul 




9 




4. Blues 




8 




5. Rap 




4 




6. Mood/easy 




4 




7. Reggae 




3 




*1 5% of the respondents 


indicated they preferred "no one type." 



Musical Preferences 43 



TABLE 9. 


Musical Genres Liked Best by White Americans* 




Genre 


Percentage who 
"liked best" 


1 . Country 

2. Rock 

3. Mood/easy 

4. Hymns/gospel 

5. Classical 

6. Big band 
7. Jazz 


24 
16 
9 
7 
6 
4 
4 




*1 3% of the respondents 


indicated they preferred "no one type/' 



TABLE 10. Black Audiences 


for Musical Genres 




Percentage 


of "liked best" 


Genre 


audience 


that is black 


I.Soul 




61 


2. Reggae 




42 


3. Rap 




37 


4. Blues 




37 


5. Hymns/gospel 




36 


6. Jazz 




34 



Gender 

The 20 genres surveyed in the SPPA can be grouped into three categories 
according to gender preferences: (1) those liked disproportionately by women; 
(2) those liked more or less equally by both genders; and (3) those liked 
disproportionately by men. The female-dominated category includes classical, 
soul, opera, and musicals. The gender-neutral category includes country, big 
band, folk, and blues. Jazz falls into the third, male-dominated category, along 
with rap, rock, parade, and bluegrass. 

In the figures for genres liked "best of all," the gender disparity is much 
more pronounced. Indeed, the dedicated jazz audience is tilted more toward the 
male side than the audience of any of the other 1 9 genres surveyed, even more 
than the ostensibly macho genres of parade, rock, and rap. Tables 11 and 12 
show the percentages of males/females for selected male-dominated and female- 
dominated genres. 



44 I Jazz in America 



TABLE 1 1 . Gender Preferences for Male-Dominated 


Musical Genres 








Percentage 


who like the 


Genre 


genre "best of all" 


Male 


Female 


Jazz 


68 


32 


Parade 


65 


35 


Bluegrass 


63 


37 


Rock 


61 


39 


Rap 


60 


40 



TABLE 12. Gender Preferences for Female-Dominated 


Musical Genres 








Percentage who like the 


Genre 


genre 


"best of all" 


Male 


Female 


Opera 


30 


70 


Hymns/gospel 


32 


68 


Musicals 


35 


65 


Choral 


37 


63 


Mood 


37 


63 


Soul 


39 


61 


Classical 


42 


58 



Cross-tabulations 



What other kinds of music do those who "like jazz" like? Perhaps the best 
way to address the question of the musical taste of the jazz audience is to see 
how its preferences for other genres deviate from the national average. 

On the whole, jazz listeners have catholic tastes and state a liking for nearly 
all genres at a higher rate than the population as a whole. But certain genres are 
clearly more appealing than others. Topping the list with the largest margins 
over the national average are blues and soul, two of the most popular genres 
among black Americans, followed closely by big band music, a genre with close 
ties to jazz of the Swing Era. Classical music, musicals, and reggae also show 
large margins. Only country music shows a neutral relationship. Table 13 shows 



Musical Preferences I 45 



TABLE 13. 


Percentage of Those Who Like Jazz 


Who Also Like 




Other Musical Genres, 


Including Comparison 




with 


Population as a Whole 








Those who 


Population 




Genre 




like jazz 


as a whole 


Difference 


Blues 




75 


40 


+35 


Big band 




57 


35 


+22 


Classical 




53 


33 


+20 


Rock 




52 


44 


+ 8 


Country 




52 


52 


— 


Soul 




48 


24 


+24 


Musicals 




46 


28 


+18 


Bluegrass 




43 


29 


+ 14 


Reggae 




39 


19 


+20 


Latin 




34 


20 


+14 


Ethnic 




34 


22 


+12 


Folk 




30 


23 


+ 7 


Parade 




26 


18 


+ 8 


Opera 




19 


12 


+ 7 


Rap 




18 


12 


+ 6 



the percentage of those who "like jazz" who also like other genres and compares 
these percentages with percentages for the population as a whole. What musical 
genres were "liked best" by those attending jazz performances? Jazz, not surpris- 
ingly, leads the list, followed by "no one type" — suggesting that a consistent 
percentage of those who decline to name a favorite genre are, in fact, jazz fans. 
Of the largest groups, rock fans participate in jazz in large numbers but are 
somewhat underrepresented, compared with national averages, as are fans of 
religious and mood music. Fans of country music are significantly underrepre- 
sented. Blues, classical, big band, new age, and reggae music typically show 
above-average representation. Tables 14, 15, and 16 show the percentages of 
those participating in jazz through attendance, radio, and recordings, respec- 
tively, who "like best" the various genres, compared with the national averages. 
Another way of examining the same data is to see what percentage of those 
who "like best" each musical genre participate in jazz through attendance at jazz 
events or via the media. The youthful, dedicated fans of reggae, blues, and new 
age show a strong inclination to participate in jazz in all forms. The somewhat 
older groups whose favorite music is opera, big band, soul, classical, or musicals 
participate in jazz somewhat more than the average (although fans of soul listen 



46 I Jazz in America 



TABLE 14. Musical Genre Preferences of Jazz Performance 
Attenders, Compared with Population as a Whole 


Genre liked best 




Percentage 




Difference 


Jazz 


attenders 


Population 
as a whole 






Jazz 

Rock 

Classical 

Hymns/gospel 
Mood 




20 

12 

7 

6 

6 


5 
14 
6 
9 
9 




+15 

- 2 
+ 1 

- 3 

- 3 


Country 
Blues 
Big band 

New age 
Reggae 




6 

5 
5 

3 

2 


21 
2 
4 
2 
1 




-15 
+ 3 
+ 1 
+ 1 
+ 1 


"No one type" 




17 


13 




+ 4 



TABLE 15. Musical Genre Preferences of Listeners to Jazz 


Radio, 


Compared with 


Population as a 


Whole 




Percentage 


Difference 


Jazz radio 


Population 




Genre liked best 


listeners 


as a whole 




Jazz 


16 


5 


+11 


Rock 


13 


14 


- 1 


Mood 


8 


9 


- 1 


Country 


8 


21 


-13 


Hymns/gospel 


7 


9 


- 2 


Classical 


7 


6 


+ 1 


Big band 


5 


4 


+ 1 


Blues 


4 


2 


+ 2 


Soul 


3 


2 


+ 1 


New age 


3 


2 


+ 1 


Latin 


2 


3 


- 1 


"No one type" 


17 


13 


+ 4 



Musical Preferences 47 



TABLE 16. 


Musical Genre Preferences of Listeners to 




Jazz 


Recordings, Compared 


with Popi 


ilation 




as a 


Whole 












Percentage 




Difference 


Listeners to 


Population 




Genre liked best 


jazz recordings 


as a whole 




Jazz 




21 




5 


+16 


Rock 




13 




14 


- 1 


Classical 




7 




6 


+ 1 


Mood 




6 




9 


- 3 


Hymns/gospel 


6 




9 


- 3 


Country 




6 




21 


-15 


Blues 




4 




2 


+ 2 


Big band 




4 




4 


— 


New age 




3 




2 


+ 1 


Soul 




3 




2 


+ 1 


Reggae 




2 




1 


+ 1 


"No one type" 


17 




13 


+ 4 



to a lot of jazz radio). Again, of the four largest groups, rock fans participate at 
a slightly below- average rate, religious and mood fans somewhat below average, 
while country fans participate hardly at all. Tables 17, 18, and 19 show the 
percentage of those who "like best" a given genre, who participate in jazz through 
attendance, radio, and recordings, respectively, compared with the national 
average for those activities. 



48 I Jazz in America 



TABLE 17. Jazz Performance 


Attendance in 


Order of 


Genre Preference 








Percentag 


;e who attended 


Genre liked best 


a jazz 


performance 


Jazz 




44 


Reggae 




28 


Blues 




25 


New age 




21 


Choral 




16 


Opera 




15 


Big band 




14 


Soul 




13 


Musicals 




13 


Classical 




13 




(National average: 11) 




Folk 




10 


Rock 




10 


Rap 




9 


Mood 




8 


Hymns/gospel 




8 


Ethnic 




6 


Bluegrass 




6 


Parade 




5 


Latin 




4 


Country 




3 


"No one type" 




15 



Musical Preferences 49 



TABLE 18. Listeners to Jazz Radi 


o in Order of 


Genre Preference 






Percentage who listen to 


Genre liked best 


jazz radio 


Jazz 


89 


New age 


51 


Soul 


48 


Blues 


48 


Reggae 


46 


Opera 


39 


Folk 


38 


Big band 


34 


Classical 


33 


Choral 


32 




(National average: 28) 




Rock 


26 


Musicals 


24 


Mood 


24 


Rap 


23 


Hymns/gospel 


21 


Bluegrass 


19 


Latin 


19 


Ethnic 


12 


Parade 


12 


Country 


10 


"No one type" 


35 



50 I Jazz in America 



TABLE 19. Listeners to Jazz Recordings in Order of 


Genre Preference 






Percentage who listened 


Genre liked best 


to jazz recordings 


Jazz 


79 


Reggae 


46 


Blues 


35 


New age 


35 


Soul 


30 


Folk 


28 


Opera 


27 


Choral 


24 


Classical 


24 


Rap 


22 


Big band 


22 




(National average: 20) 




Rock 


18 


Musicals 


15 


Mood 


14 


Hymns/gospel 


14 


Parade 


11 


Latin 


9 


Bluegrass 


8 


Ethnic 


7 


Country 


6 


"No one type" 


26 



Performers 




The numbers of adult Americans who actually perform jazz rather than simply 
listening to it are, not surprisingly, quite modest. Approximately 1 .7 percent 
(3.2 million) reported "performing or rehearsing" jazz. Less than half of these 
performers (0.7 percent, or 1.3 million) performed or rehearsed for a public 
performance. The 1982 SPPA reported approximately the same percentage (0.8 
percent) for public performance of jazz. Substantially larger numbers (4.2 
percent, or 7.8 million) report performing classical music, although the percent- 
age for public performance of classical music (0.9 percent) is not much higher 
than that for jazz. 

What are the demographic characteristics of jazz performers as a whole? 
They are predominantly male; the male/female ratio is roughly 60:40. They are 
predominantly white, although blacks and Asians are somewhat more likely to 
perform jazz in private or in public than are white Americans. (The rates for 
performance are 2.2 percent for blacks, 2.9 percent for Asians, and 1.7 percent 
for white non-Hispanics; blacks account for 15 percent of the jazz performers; 
Asians, 5 percent.) Jazz performers are predominantly youthful, with 45 percent 
under age 35 and 71 percent under age 45. The highest rate (2.5 percent) is 
reported for the 18-to-24 group (suggesting that many performers may be 
students), followed by the 35-to-44 group (2. 1 percent) and the 25-to-34 group 
(1.9 percent). 

Inclination to perform rises steadily with education: over 3 percent of those 
with graduate education perform jazz, and all those with at least some college 
education are more likely to perform jazz than the population as a whole. The 
correlation between performance and income is much less clear. The highest 
percentage of performers appears in the $5,000-or-below group (2.7 percent), 
again suggesting a significant number of student performers. The next highest 
rates are for those with an income from $15,000 to $25,000 (2 percent) and 
over $50,000 (1.9 percent). 

Demographic analysis of the tiny number of public performers is risky 
because the sample is so small. But the data suggest that the gender disparity 
widens further (a male/female ratio in excess of 7:3), and that blacks are 
disproportionately represented (they account for about 25 percent of the total 
number of public performers). Public performers are somewhat less youthful 



51 



52 I Jazz in America 



than jazz performers generally (only about 30 percent are under age 34), with 
the greatest concentration in the 35-to-44 range. 

Not surprisingly, there is a strong correlation between performing jazz and 
attending jazz performances. About 60 percent of jazz performers attend jazz 
performances; they make up 9 percent of the attending audience. About 70 
percent of those who perform in public attend — a high percentage, but one that 
means that nearly a third of those who perform in public evidently do not count 
their own performances and did not attend performances of others. 



Music Education 




Is there a correlation between music education and jazz participation? It should 
be remembered, first of all, that music education does not necessarily mean 
jazz education. Jazz has only recently attained even a modest profile as an 
officially sanctioned art and has made only modest inroads into educational 
networks that remain overwhelmingly committed to the European art tradition. 

Nevertheless, the basic technical training for performance of European 
music has served well as a foundation for most varieties of American music, 
including jazz. The image of the autodidact may loom large in jazz mythology, 
but the large majority of jazz performers since at least the 1930s have been 
literate in Western musical notation, and most have received some conventional 
training on their instrument. It is not surprising, therefore, to learn that 93 
percent of the jazz performers have at some time taken music lessons (compared 
with 40 percent of the adult population as a whole). Four percent of those who 
have taken music lessons perform jazz (compared with less than 2 percent of the 
adult population as a whole) . Moreover, those who have taken music lessons 
attend jazz performances at a higher rate (17 percent) than the national average 
(11 percent) and make up 61 percent of the audience. 

Music appreciation courses, on the other hand, probably have a far more 
indirect relationship to jazz per se. While many colleges and universities now 
offer courses in jazz history or appreciation, the large majority focus on 
European music and include such genres as jazz only as ancillary topics. 

There is, in fact, a strong correlation between taking courses in music 
appreciation and participating in jazz. Although only 18 percent of the popu- 
lation as a whole has taken such courses, 40 percent of jazz attenders and 62 
percent of jazz performers have done so. This relationship, however, probably 
reflects two factors: (1) the audience for jazz is considerably more educated than 
the population as a whole and therefore far more likely to take courses that are 
usually only offered in institutions of higher education; and (2) the audience 
for jazz is more interested in European music than the population as a whole 
(about half of those who "like jazz" also like classical music, and vice versa) and 
therefore is more inclined to take advantage of opportunities to learn more about 
the subject. 



53 



Leisure Activities 




On the whole, those adult Americans who attend jazz performances are 
more inclined than the general population to participate in a variety of 
leisure activities. This is not surprising, since participation in both leisure 
activities and jazz is strongly correlated with education and income. 

The activities favored by jazz attenders broadly mirror those favored by the 
population as a whole, with going to the movies (84 percent), exercising (82 
percent), and going to amusement parks (66 percent) leading the list. The SPPA 
showed that jazz attenders participate at substantially higher rates than the 
national average for all activities surveyed. The two activities that showed the 
smallest increases over the national average — gardening and home improve- 
ments — were also the only two activities strongly associated with older Ameri- 
cans. The highest rates of participation for these activities occurred among 
35-to-64-year-olds for home improvements and 45-to-74-year-olds for garden- 
ing — well past the peak of jazz interest in the 25-to-44-year-old group. Two of 
the activities that showed the most substantial rate increase above the national 
average — "participation in sports" and "attendance at sports events" — were also 
the most male-dominated in the population as a whole. Table 20 shows the 
percentage of those attending jazz performances who also participated in nine 
surveyed leisure activities, compared with the national average for those activities. 



54 



Leisure Activities 



55 



TABLE 20. Jazz Performance Attenders' Participation 


in Other Leisure Activities, Compared 


with 


Population as a Whole 








Percent of 


Percent of 






jazz attenders 


population 






who 


as a whole who 




Activity 


participate 


participate 


Difference 


Movies 


84 


59 


+25 


Exercise 


82 


60 


+22 


Amusement parks 


66 


50 


+ 16 


Participation in sports 


62 


39 


+23 


Gardening 


61 


55 


+ 6 


Attendance at sports events 59 


37 


+22 


Home improvements 


57 


48 


+ 9 


Charity work 


51 


33 


+18 


Outdoor activities 


50 


34 


+16 



Conclusions 




The decade from 1982 to 1992 has seen a crucial generational shift in jazz. 
Many of the giants from the formative years of swing and modern jazz passed 
from the scene during this period, among them Thelonious Monk (1982), 
Count Basie (1984), Benny Goodman (1986), Miles Davis (1991), and Dizzy 
Gillespie (1993). Their deaths symbolize the end of an era and have caused some 
longtime observers of the jazz scene to wonder whether the links between 
contemporary forms of music making and the jazz tradition have become 
attenuated. "Jaz z has always lived not by the hipness of the public," writes Eric 
Hobsbawm, "but by what Cornel West calls 'the network of apprenticeship,' 
the 'transmission of skills and sensibilities to new practitioners.' The cords of 
this network are fraying. Some of them have snapped." l 

And yet the contemporary image of jazz — as exemplified by the new 
generation of performers led by Wynton Marsalis, if not by Kenny G — is not 
only young, black, and hip, but fiercely committed to ideals of tradition, artistic 
discipline, and education. Jazz is undergoing a historic transition from a music 
embedded in popular culture (though carving out an ironic stance to it) to an 
official, if belatedly recognized, part of the art establishment. "Straight- ahead 
jazz almost died in the 1970s," wrote a correspondent for Time in 1990, "as 
record companies embraced the electronically enhanced jazz-pop amalgam 
known as fusion. Now a whole generation of prodigiously talented young 
musicians is going back to the roots, using acoustic instruments, playing 
recognizable tunes and studying the styles of earlier jazzmen." These two 
assessments — one pessimistic and elegiac, the other optimistic and celebra- 
tory — sum up the ambiguous position of jazz as it approaches the end of the 
century. Compared with other "official" arts, jazz still retains traces of its origins 
in popular culture: the relative youthfulness of its audience and the associations 
with old (blues) and new (rap, reggae) forms of African American music. But 
contemporary audiences are increasingly likely to encounter jazz in settings 
carefully sealed off from the marketplace: college classrooms, PBS specials, 
concert halls. As the new century nears, jazz will continue to compete with the 
European "classical" tradition as the music of choice for the training of young 
musicians. 33 And knowledge of jazz, its history,. and its major performers will 
increasingly be seen as a desirable outcome of education, a crucial component 
of American "cultural capital." 



56 



Conclusions 57 



This presents advocates of jazz — those who wish to see it thrive as an 
American art form — with a peculiar challenge: to marshal the prestige and 
financial resources of the arts and educational establishment on its behalf 
without endangering its appeal to a youthful, pop-oriented audience. Whether 
the current audience profile for jazz will persist into the future is a key question. 
Will jazz become even more the special province of the affluent, the educated, 
and the middle-aged; or will it continue to be, as it is now, the favored music 
of the 25-to-44 age group, delicately balanced between the adolescent enthusi- 
asm for pop music and the considerably older audience for most other official 
arts? Will the African American audience continue to embrace jazz — perhaps 
as its own officially sanctioned art — or will jazz be displaced by newer forms of 
vernacular African American music that speak more directly to current concerns 
and tastes? As jazz becomes more integrated into existing arts networks and less 
associated with the insular, intense world of enthusiasts, will the imbalance in 
participation between men and women gradually disappear? 

These questions cannot be answered by the current survey; the information 
it contains can only provide fuel for speculation. And yet for those who cherish 
jazz as a uniquely American form of artistic expression and who have some 
sense of the extraordinary path it has taken over the past century, these figures 
cannot help but encourage a feeling of optimism. The audience for jazz is 
modest, but diverse and expanding; in the language of market research, it 
"reaches all demographics."' For the foreseeable future, the music will con- 
tinue to be heard. 



Appendix A 

Survey of Public Participation in the 
Arts Questionnaire, 1 992 



INTRODUCTION - Now I have some questions about your leisure activities. The Bureau of the 
Census is collecting this information for the National Endowment for the Arts. The survey is 
authorized by Title 20, United States Code, section 954 and Title 13, United States Code, section 
8. Your participation in this interview is voluntary and there are no penalties for not answering 
some or all of the questions. (If PERSONAL INTERVIEW, hand respondent the Privacy Act Statement, 
SPPA-13.) 



PGM 3 



3. 



The following questions are about YOUR 
activities during the LAST 12 months — 

between 1,19 , and 

19 



With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances, did YOU go to a live 
jazz performance during the LAST 12 
MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
classical music performance such as 
symphony, chamber, or choral music 
during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
opera during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
musical stage play or an operetta during 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



5. 



8. 



(With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
performance of a non-musical stage play 
during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 
oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
ballet performance during the LAST 12 
MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
dance performance other than ballet, such 
as modern, folk, or tap during the LAST 12 
MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
visit an ART museum or gallery? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
visit an ART fair or festival, or a CRAFT fair 
or festival? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



58 



Survey of Public Participation in the Arts Questionnaire, 1 992 I 59 



10. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
visit an historic park or monument, or 
tour buildings, or neighborhoods for their 
historic or design value? 



°2iJ oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



11. With the exception of books required for 
work or school, did you read any books 
during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many books did you 

read during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of books 



12. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
read any - 

Read answer categories 



a. Plays? 



I 021 I iDNo 2DYes 



b. Poetry? 



I 022 I iDNo 2 DYes 



Novels or short stories? I 023 I 1DN0 2D Yes 



13. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to - 

a. A reading of poetry. 



either live or recorded? I 024 I 1DN0 2DYes 



b. A reading of novels or 
books either live or 
recorded? 



I 025 I iDNo 2 DYes 



14a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
watch a jazz performance on television or 
a video (VCR) tape? 



1 DNo - Skip to item 14c 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2DTV 
3DVCR 
4 D Both 



b. About how many times did you do this in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



c. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to jazz on radio? 



J2LJ 1DN0 
2D Yes 



d. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to jazz records, tapes, or compact 
discs? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



Page 2 



15a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
watch a classical music performance on 
television or a video (VCR) tape? 

HH 1 DNo - Skip to item 15c 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2DTV 
3D VCR 
4 D Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



Number of times 



c. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to classical music on radio? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



d. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to classical music records, tapes or 
compact discs? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



16a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
watch an opera on television or a video 
(VCR) tape? 

jJE] 1 DNo - Skip to item 16c 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2DTV 
3D VCR 
4 □ Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



Number of times 



c. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to opera music on radio? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



d. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to opera music records, tapes, or 
compact discs? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



17a. With the exception of movies, did ycu 

watch a musical stage play or an operetta 
on television or a video (VCR) tape during 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



°E] 1 DNo - Skip to item 17c 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2DTV 
3D VCR 
4 D Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



Number of times 



c. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to a musical stage play or an operetta 
on radio? 



JHU iDNo 
2D Yes 



d. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to a musical stage play or an operetta 
on records, tapes, or compact discs? 



1DN0 
2DYes 



FORM SPPA 2 U-9-921 



60 



Jazz in America 



18a. With the exception of movies, situation 
comedies, or TV series, did you watch a 
non-musical stage play on television or a video 
(VCR) tape during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



1 □ No - Skip to item 18c 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2DTV 
3DVCR 
4 □ Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in the 
LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



Number of times 



c. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you listen 
to a radio performance of a non-musical stage 
play? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



19a. With the exception of music videos, did you 
watch on television or a video (VCR) tape 
dance such as ballet, modern, folk, or tap 
during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



D No - Skip to item 20a 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2C]TV 
aDVCR 
4 D Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



Number of times 



20a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you watch 
a program about artists, art works, or art 
museums on television or a video (VCR) tape? 



1 □ No - Skip to item 21a 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2DTV 
sDVCR 
4 D Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



22a. The following questions are about your 
participation in other leisure activities. 

Approximately how many hours of television 
do you watch on an average day? 



Number of hours 



b. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did YOU go 
out to the movies? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



c. With the exception of youth sports, did you 
go to any amateur or professional sports 
events during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



d. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you go to 
an amusement or theme park, a carnival, or 
a similar place of entertainment? 



iDNo 
2DYes 



e. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you jog, 
lift weights, walk, or participate in any other 
exercise program? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you 
participate in any sports activity, such as 
softball, basketball, golf, bowling, skiing, or 
tennis? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



g. Did you participate in any outdoor activities, 
such as camping, hiking, or canoeing during 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



h. Did you do volunteer or charity work during 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



21a. I'm going to read a list of events that some 

people like to attend. If you could go to any of 
these events as often as you wanted, which 
ones would you go to MORE OFTEN than you 
do now? I'll read the list. Go to - 

Mark (X) all that apply. 



id Jazz music performances 

2D Classical music performances 

3D Operas 

4 G Musical plays or operettas 

5 □ Non-musical plays 

6 D Ballet performances 

7 □ Dance performances other than ballet 
sHArt museums or galleries 

9 □ None of these - Skip to item 22a 



If only one is chosen, skip to item 22a. 
If more than one is chosen, ask - 

b. Which of these would you like to do most? 



Category number 



ooDNo one thing most 



DNo 
>DYes 



Did you make repairs or improvements on 
your own home during the LAST 12 
MONTHS? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



j. Did you work with indoor plants or do any 
gardening for pleasure during the LAST 12 
MONTHS? 



J*U iDNo 
2D Yes 



23a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you work 
with pottery, ceramics, jewelry, or do any 
leatherwork or metalwork? 



1 □ No - Skip to item 24a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you publicly display any of your works? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



FORM SPPA-2 (4-9-92) 



Page 3 



Survey of Public Participation in the Arts Questionnaire, 1 992 I 61 



24a 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you do 
any weaving, crocheting, quilting, 
needlepoint, or sewing? 

1 □ No - Skip to item 25a 
2DYes 



Did you publicly display any of your works? 

iDNo 
2D Yes 



25a 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
make photographs, movies, or video tapes 
as an artistic activity? 

1 □ No - Skip to item 26a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you publicly display any of your works? 



iDNo 
2DYes 



26a 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you do 
any painting, drawing, sculpture, or 
printmaking activities? 

1 □ No - Skip to item 27a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you publicly display any of your works? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



27a. With the exception of work or school, did you 
do any creative writing such as stories, poems, 
or plays during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



1 □ No - Skip to item 28a 
2D Yes 



b. Were any of your writings published? 

D iDNo 
aD Yes 



28a. Did you write or compose any music during 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



1 □ No - Skip to item 29a 
2D Yes 



b. Was your musical composition played in a 
public performance or rehearsed for a public 
performance? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



29a. Do you own any original pieces of art, such 
as paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints, or 
lithographs? 



077 I 1 □ No - Skip to item 30a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you purchase or acquire any of these 
pieces during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



30a. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you 
perform or rehearse any jazz music? 



1 □ No - Skip to item 31a 
2D Yes 



30b. Did you play any jazz in a public performance 
or rehearse for a public performance? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



31a. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you play 
any classical music? 



1 □ No - Skip to item 32a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you play classical music in a public 
performance or rehearse for a public 
performance? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



32a. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you sing any 
music from an opera? 



™LJ iDNo - Skip to item 33a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you sing in a public opera performance 
or rehearse for a public performance? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



33a. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you sing 
music from a musical play or operetta? 



1 D No - Skip to item 33c 
2D Yes 



b. Did you sing in a public performance of a 
musical play or operetta or rehearse for a 
public performance? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



c. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you sing in 
a public performance with a chorale, choir, 
or glee club or other type of vocal group, or 
rehearse for a public performance? 



^U 1DN0 
2D Yes 



34. 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you act in a 
public performance of a non-musical play or 
rehearse for a public performance? 

1DN0 
2D Yes 



35a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you dance 
any ballet? 



1 D No - Skip to item 36a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you dance ballet in a public performance 
or rehearse for a public performance? 



££2J 1DN0 
2D Yes 



36a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you do any 
dancing other than ballet such as modern, folk, 
or tap? 



1 D No - Skip to item 37a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you dance modern, folk, or tap in a 
public performance? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



Page 4 



FORM SPPA-2 (4-9 92! 



62 I Jazz in America 



37a. I'm going to read a list of some types of 
music. As I read the list, tell me which of 
these types of music you like to listen to? 

Mark (X) all that apply. 



Z Classical/Chamber music 

2D Opera 

3D Operetta/Broadway musicals/Show tunes 

4 D Jazz 

sDReggae (Reg gay) 

eZRap music 

7 D Soul 

e D Blues/Rhythm and blues 

9 D Latin/Spanish/Salsa 
ioDBig band 

11 D Parade/Marching band 
1 2 D Country- western 

;ZBIuegrass 
uDRock 

sZThe music of a particular Ethnic/ 
National tradition 

16 D Contemporary folk music 

17 D Mood/Easy listening 
ieDNew age music 

19 D Choral/Glee club 

20 D Hymns/Gospel 

21 D All 

22 D None/Don't like to listen to music - Skip to item 38a 



39a. (Have you EVER taken lessons or 

classes) in visual arts such as sculpture, 
painting, print making, photography, or 
film making? 



]°Li 1 D No - Skip to item 40a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you take these lessons when you were 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



1 D Less than 1 2 years old 
2D 12-1 7 years old 
3D 18-24 years old 
4 D 25 or older 



CHECK 
ITEM C 



b. If only one category is marked in 37a, enter code in 
37b without asking. Which of these do you like 
best? 



Refer to item 39b 
Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 39b? 
D No - Skip to Check Item D 
DYes - Ask item 39c 



39c. Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 



1D Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3D Both 



Category number 



)D No one type best 



CHECK 
ITEM D 



38a. Have you EVER taken lessons or classes in 
music - either voice training or playing an 
instrument? 



D No - Skip to item 39a 
?DYes 



b. Did you take these lessons when you were 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



ZLess than 12 years old 
2D 12-1 7 years old 
3D 18-24 years old 
4 D 25 or older 



CHECK 
ITEM A 



Refer to item 38b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 38b? 

D No - Skip to Check Item B 
D Yes - Ask item 38c 



38c. Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 



1D Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3D Both 



Refer to item 39b 

If box 4 is marked in item 39b, ASK item 39d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 39b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

DNo - Skip to item 40a 
DYes - Ask item 39d 



39d.Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



1DN0 
2 DYes 



40a. (Have you EVER taken lessons or classes) in 
acting or theater? 



1 D No - Skip to item 4 1a 
2 DYes 



b. Did you take these lessons when you were 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



1 D Less than 1 2 years old 
2D 12-1 7 years old 
3D 18-24 years old 
4D25 or older 



CHECK 
ITEM B 



Refer to item 38b 

If box 4 is marked in item 38b, ASK item 38d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 38b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

D No - Skip to item 39a 
DYes - Ask item 38d 



CHECK 
ITEME 



38d.Did you take any of these lessons or 
classes in the past year? 



DNo 
?DYes 



Refer to item 40b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 40b? 

DNo - Skip to Check Item F 
DYes - Ask item 40c 



40c. Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 



1D Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3D Both 



FORM SPPA-2 (4-9-92) 



Page 5 



Survey of Public Participation in the Arts Questionnaire, 1 992 I 63 



CHECK 
ITEM F 



Refer to item 40b 

If box 4 is marked in item 40b, ASK item 40d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 40b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

□ No - Skip to item 41a 

□ Yes - Ask item 40d 



40d.Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



J iDNo 
aDYes 



41a. (Have you EVER taken lessons or classes) in 
ballet? 



iD 1 □ No - Skip to item 42a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you take these lessons when you were 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



ZLess than 12 years old 
2 □ 1 2-1 7 years old 
3D 18-24 years old 

Z 25 or older 



CHECK 
ITEMG 



Refer to item 41b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 41b? 

□ No - Skip to Check Item H 

□ Yes - Ask item 41c 



41c. Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 



114 I iD Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 

aD Both 



CHECK 
ITEM H 



Refer to item 41b 

If box 4 is marked in item 41b, ASK item 41d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 41b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

□ No - Skip to item 42a 

□ Yes- Ask item 41 d 



41 d. Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



iDNo 
2QYes 



42a. (Have you EVER taken lessons or classes) in 
dance, other than ballet such as modern, folk 
or tap? 



116 I 1 □ No - Skip to item 43a 
2D Yes 






b. Did you take these lessons when you were - 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 

t □ Less than 1 2 years old 
2^1 2-1 7 years old 
3d 18-24 years old 
t G 25 or older 



CHECK 
ITEM I 



Page 6 



Refer to item 42b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 42b? 

□ No - Skip to Check Item J 

□ Yes - Ask item 42c 



42c. Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 



1 □ Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3 □Both 



CHECK 
ITEM J 



Refer to item 42b 

If box 4 is marked in item 42b, ASK item 42d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 42b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

QNo - Skip to item 43a 
□ Yes - Ask item 42d 



42d.Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



iDNo 

2D Yes 



43a. Have you EVER taken lessons or classes in 
creative writing? 



120 I i □ No - Skip to item 44a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you take these lessons when you were 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



J£1J iDLoss than 12 years old 
$ 2DI 2-1 7 years old 
3C 18-24 years old 
-Z 25 or older 



CHECK 
ITEM K 



Refer to item 43b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 43b? 

□ No - Skip to Check Item L 

□ Yes - Ask item 43c 



43c. Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 



1 □ Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3D Both 



CHECK 
ITEM L 



Refer to item 43b 

If box 4 is marked in item 43b, ASK item 43d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 43b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

□ No - Skip to item 44a 

□ Yes - Ask item 43d 



43d. Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



JHJ iDNo 
2D Yes 



44a. (Have you EVER taken a class) in art 
appreciation or art history? 



i □ No - Skip to item 45a 
2 0Yes 



b. Did you take this class when you were ■ 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



j£LJ iDLess than 12 years old 
# 2C 1 2-1 7 years old 
3C 18-24 years old 
-Z 25 or older 



rGHW S?°A-2 1-5-S2, 



64 I Jazz in America 



CHECK 
ITEM M 



Refer to item 44b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 44b? 

□ No - Skip to Check Item N 

□ Yes - Ask item 44c 



44c. Was this class offered by the elementary or 
high school you were attending or did you 
take this class elsewhere? 



45c. Was this class offered by the elementary or 
high school you were attending or did you 
take this class elsewhere? 



iD Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
2D Both 



CHECK 
ITEM P 



126 I 1 □ Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3D Both 



CHECK 
ITEM N 



Refer to item 44b 

If box 4 is marked in item 44b, ASK item 44d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 44b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

D No - Skip to item 45a 
□ Yes - Ask item 44d 



44d.Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



45a. (Have you EVER taken a class) in music 
appreciation? 



1 □ No - Skip to item 46a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you take this class when you were • 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



_l£LJ i □ Less than 1 2 years old 
2D 12-1 7 years old 
3D 18-24 years old 

4D25 or older 



Refer to item 45b 

If box 4 is marked in item 45b, ASK item 45d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 45b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

□ No - Skip to item 46a 

□ Yes - Ask item 45d 



45d.Did you take this class in the past year? 

Hl\ 1DN0 



?DYes 



46a. What is the highest grade (or year) of regular 
school your FATHER completed? 



132 1 01 D 7th grade or less 
02 D 8th grade 
03D9th-11th grades 
04 □ 12th grade 

05D College (did not complete) 
06 □ Completed college (4+ years) 
o/DPost graduate degree (M.A., Ph.D., M.D.. J.D., etc.) 
08 □ Don't know 

b. What is the highest grade (or year) of regular 
school your MOTHER completed? 



1 01 □ 7th grade or less 
02 D 8th grade 
03D9th-11th grades 
04 □ 12th grade 

05DCollege (did not complete) 
06 □ Completed college (4+ years) 
07OPost graduate degree (M.A., Ph.D. 
08 □ Don't know 



M.D., J.D., etc. 



CHECK 
ITEMO 



Refer to item 45b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 45b? 

□ No - Skip to Check Item P 

□ Yes - Ask item 45c 



CHECK 
ITEM Q 



Is this the LAST household member to be 
interviewed? 

□ No - Go back to the NCS-1 and interview the 

next eligible NCS household member 

□ Yes - END INTERVIEW 




FORM SPPA-2 (2-9-92) 



Page 7 



Notes 



1. Data collected by the U.S. Bureau of the Census in this survey were analyzed by 
Jack Faucett Associates, Inc., and John P. Robinson of the University of Maryland. 
The results of the analysis were published by the National Endowment for the Arts 
as Arts Participation in America, 1982—1992, Research Division Report #27. 

2. Data on the jazz audience derived from the 1982 SPPA were analyzed by Harold 
Horowitz, Director of Research of the National Endowment for the Arts. The 
results of this analysis were published in 1986 by the National Jazz Service 
Organization as The American Jazz Audience (available through the Education 
Research Information System [ERIC] as ED 280757), and summarized as the 
opening chapter of New Perspectives in Jazz, ed. David N. Baker (Washington, DC: 
Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990), pp. 1-8. 

3. Jeff Levenson, "Who's Listening, Who's Buying?" Billboard, 4 July 1992, J-2. 

4. Richard Crawford, The American Musical Landscape (Berkeley: University of 
California Press, 1993), pp. 86-88. Crawford's argument is designed to describe 
the sharp distinction between composition and performance prevalent in the 
European art music tradition and its derivatives in America. In jazz, of course, the 
improvising performer assumes much of the responsibility normally assigned to 
the composer. 

5. "Jazz Charts Debut," Billboard, 28 February 1987, 6. 

6. Hank Bordowitz, "Letter Perfect," Jazziz, January 1994, 32. 

7. The regional arts organizations are Arts Midwest (Minneapolis), Mid- America Arts 
Alliance (Kansas City), Mid- Atlantic Arts Foundation (Baltimore), New England 
Foundation for the Arts (Cambridge, MA), Southern Arts Federation (Atlanta), 
and Western States Arts Federation (Santa Fe). The presenting organizations are 
Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum (Philadelphia), The Artists Col- 
lective (Hartford, CT), ArtsCenter (Carrboro, NC), Carver Cultural Center (San 
Antonio), Cityfolk (Dayton), Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans), District 
Curators (Washington, DC), Earshot Jazz (Seattle), Flynn Theater (Burlington, 
VT), Helena Presents (Helena, MT), Jazz Institute of Chicago, Jazzmobile (New 
York), Kentucky Center for the Arts (Louisville), Koncepts Cultural Gallery 
(Oakland), Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (Pittsburgh), Northeast Ohio Jazz 
Society (Cleveland), Northrop Auditorium (Minneapolis), Outpost Productions 
(Albuquerque), Folly Theater (Kansas City), and Sum Arts (Houston). 

8. Jack Faucett Associates, Inc., John P. Robinson, comp., Arts Participation in 
America, 1982—1992, Research Division Report #27 (Washington, DC: National 
Endowment for the Arts, 1993), p. 47. 

9. Neil Tesser, "March of the Majors," Billboard, 7 July 1990, J-5. 

10. A. James Liska, "Wynton and Branford Marsalis: A Common Misunderstanding," 
Down Beat, December 1992, 64. 

1 1 . John McDonough, "Harry Connick, Jr. Monk? Sinatra? Try Cab Calloway," Down 
Beat, January 1993, 19. 



65 



66 I Jazz in America 



12. Personal communication, 13 January 1994. 

13. Don Jeffrey, "Reissue Fever," Billboard, 4 July 1992, J-4. 

14. The top "contemporary jazz" label for 1992, according to Billboard, December 
1 992, was GRP, followed at some distance by Warner Brothers and Columbia. 
The top "jazz" labels were Verve, Columbia, GRP, Blue Note, and Warner 
Brothers. 

15. Jack Faucett Associates, Inc., John P. Robinson, comp., Arts Participation in 
America, 1982-1992, Research Division Report #27 (Washington, DC: National 
Endowment for the Arts, 1993), pp. 29, 32. 

16. Mike Harrison, Billboard, 15 August 1981, 31. Harrison later explained, "The 
reason I choose to spell jazz with the extra z ... is to emphasize the point that 
among the new breed of commercial jazz musicians and broadcasters there is an 
emerging broad-minded attitude about the music, its expanded boundaries, and 
new potential for being competitively marketable. Not surprisingly, the purist jazz 
community is resentful and resistive of this growing movement to 'bastardize' and 
'sell-out' jazz. Hence, the 3rd z clearly separates the philosophies and avoids the 
long-standing and obvious pitfalls of becoming caught up in the 'what is the 
definition of true jazz' syndrome." Billboard, 22 August 1981, 23. 

17. Personal communication, 13 January 1994. 

18. Kim Freeman, "Jazz Carves a Niche on the Airwaves," Billboard, 20 June 1987, 
13. 

19. Jeff Levenson, "Who's Listening, Who's Buying?" Billboard, 4 July 1992, J-8. 

20. Jack Faucett Associates, Inc., John P. Robinson, comp., Arts Participation in 
America, 1982—1992, Research Division Report #27 (Washington, DC: National 
Endowment for the Arts, 1993), p. 26. 

21. Personal communication, 25 January 1994. 

22. Quoted in Larry Blumenfeld, "Forecast: The Future of Jazz from the Inside," 
Jazziz, January 1994, 93. 

23. Tom Evered of Blue Note Records said in 1 992, "My feeling is that there are mostly 
young people buying records." According to Willard Jenkins, executive director of 
the National Jazz Service Organization, "The demo has shifted to a younger 
audience, much of that owing to the young lions proliferating on various labels." 
(Quoted in Jeff Levenson, "Who's Listening, Who's Buying?" Billboard, 4 July 
1992, J-2). Nevertheless, "youth" is a relative concept. In a pop music market 
dominated by teenage consumers, the maturity of jazz record buyers may be more 
striking than their youth. "The mainstay of the record industry was always 13—18 
year olds," according to GRP executive Larry Rosen. "But the average age of 
American consumers is now 32. And as they're getting older, they're looking for a 
more mature music." (Quoted in Neil Tesser, "March of the Majors," Billboard, 7 
July 1990, J-5. 

24. Richard A. Peterson and Darren E. Sherkat, Age Factors in Arts Participation, 
Research Division Report #35 (Washington, DC: National Endowment for the 
Arts, in press). 

25. James Lincoln Collier, Jazz: The American Theme Song (New York: Oxford 
University Press, 1993), p. 185. 

26. Ibid., p. 215. 



Notes 67 



27. Because the audience for jazz is predominantly white, relatively few jazz venues are 
situated in neighborhoods where blacks are the majority. One such venue is 
Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, a nonprofit arts center located in the historically 
black Manchester area of Pittsburgh. Its jazz programs attract a higher percentage 
of African Americans than most commercially run nightclubs in the city. Personal 
communication, 25 January 1994. 

28. Jeffrey Love and Bramble C. Klipple, Arts Participation and Race/ Ethnicity, Re- 
search Division Report #36 (Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts, 
in press). 

29. See, for example, Mike Shalett, "On Target," Billboard, 1 March 1986, 23, which 
describes the audience for various contemporary jazz artists as male-dominated 
above age 35 (although the under- 18 audience is "mostly girls"). The 24-hour 
"straight-ahead" jazz station KJAZ reported targeting men between 35 and 44. See 
Kim Freeman, "Jazz Carves a Niche on the Airwaves," Billboard, 20 June 1987, 
18. 

30. Jazziz Magazine, "Readers Demographics, 1993"; Jazz Times, "Reader Profile 
1992/1993." 

31. Eric Hobsbawm, The Jazz Tradition (New York: Pantheon Books, 1993), xxii. 

32. Thomas Sancton, "Horns of Plenty," Time, 22 October 1990, 66. 

33. According to sources quoted by James Lincoln Collier, it is now rare for a college 
or university not to have a jazz component in its music program; and more than 
half of America's secondary schools have jazz programs. See James Lincoln Collier, 
Jazz: The American Theme Song (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 
145. 

34. Mike Shallett, "On Target," Billboard, 1 March 1986, 23. 



About the Author 



Scott DeVeaux is Associate Professor in the Mclntire Department of Music 
at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He has written articles on 
jazz for the Journal of the American Musicological Society, American Music, the 
Black Music Research Journal, and the Black American Literature Forum. He is 
series editor of Readers in American Music from the Smithsonian Institution 
Press, and coeditor of the book The Music of James Scott. 



68 



Other Reports on the 1 992 SPPA 



The following publications report on various aspects of the 1992 Survey of 
Public Participation in the Arts. Information regarding availability may be 
obtained by writing to the National Endowment for the Arts, Research Division, 
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC, 20506. 

Age Factors in Arts Participation, Richard A. Peterson and Darren E. Sherkat 

American Participation in Dance, Jack Lemon/Jack Faucett Associates 

American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992, Joni Maya Cherbo 
and Monnie Peters 

American Participation in Theater, Chris Shrum/AMS Planning and Research 

Americans' Personal Participation in the Arts, Monnie Peters and Joni Maya 
Cherbo 

Arts Participation and Race I Ethnicity, Jeffrey Love and Bramble C. Klipple 

Arts Participation by the Baby Boomers, Judith Huggins Balfe and Rolf Meyer- 
sohn 

Cross-Over Patterns in Arts Participation, Richard J. Orend and Carol Keegan 

Effects of Education and Arts Education on Americans' Participation in the Arts, 
Louis Bergonzi and Julia Smith 

Hold the Funeral March: The State of Classical Music Appreciation in the U.S., 
Nicholas Zill 

Patterns of Multiple Arts Participation, Jeffrey Love 

Reading in the 1990s: Turning a Page or Closing the Books?, Nicholas Zill 

Socialization in the Arts — 1992, Richard J. Orend and Carol Keegan 

Tuning in and Turning On: Public Participation in the Arts via Media in the 
United States, Charles M. Gray 



69 



national 
endowment 

for^Wthe 

ARTS 



Seven Locks Press 
Carson, California 



ISBN 


0-929765- 


40-0 


51095 


9 78C 


929''7654 


02 


II I II