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Final Chorus: Expanding the Map

I am grateful for the considerable response from readers to my June column, “Uncovering Jazz Trails.” My hope is that as local newspapers, radio and television stations, and Web sites discover the depth of their cities’ and regions’ jazz roots, there will be more work for emerging local jazz musicians and for their elders who are still an active part of the scene. Along with more of the population, jazz players are lasting longer.

Dana Gioia, head of the National Endowment for the Arts, who has done far more for this music than any of his predecessors, shows no interest in this project. But maybe the International Association for Jazz Education and a consortium of freestanding jazz schools, like the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and the growing number of colleges and universities seriously involved in jazz education, could coordinate further research expanding the map of cities that have made vital contributions to jazz, and still do.

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Originally Published
Nat Hentoff

Nat Hentoff

Over more than 60 years, Nat Hentoff (1925-2017) wrote about music, politics, and many other subjects for a variety of publications, including DownBeat (which he edited from 1953 to 1957), the Village Voice (where he was a weekly columnist from 1958 to 2009), the Wall Street Journal, and JazzTimes, to which he regularly contributed the Final Chorus column from 1998 to 2012. Of the 32 books that he wrote, co-wrote, or edited, 10 focus on jazz. In 2004, Hentoff became the first recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Masters award for jazz advocacy.