Is it Time to Retire the Word Jazz?

Orrin Evans, Nicholas Payton and other musicians debate whether ‘jazz’ is racist

Nicholas Payton
Orrin Evans
Gary Bartz

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For several decades, some have argued that jazz music is dead, but now some outspoken musicians want the word jazz itself to be retired. At a panel discussion at New York’s Birdland last week, titled the Inaugural #BAM (Black American Music) Conference and moderated by the writer Touré, contemporary artists Orrin Evans and Nicholas Payton declared that the word jazz is “racist” and should be replaced by Black American Music. Articles in The Philly Post and The Village Voice recount some of the statements made and a video of the panel discussion can be viewed here .