A Bill of Rights for Jazz

Deficiencies in the original United States Constitution led James Madison to imagine amendments that would dramatically enhance how American society envisioned a unique identity apart from British rule. Today the perfect storm of disruptive technologies, systemic defunding of the arts, and an enduring global pandemic, present Jazz musicians with a similar tipping point. 
Democratic by nature, built on elite traditions of creative ingenuity, dynamic improvisation, and the unique alchemy of energy shared between artists and their audiences, Jazz remains a marginalized art form within American society. Forced to the edge of financial sustainability, too many musicians continue to live within a culture and economy that continues to neglect one of its greatest and most unique artistic contributions to the world.
Here then are ten Bill of Rights for Jazz; a set of core values to motivate, promote and help establish a revolutionary path towards a progressive, holistic, artist-first ecology, supporting Jazz musicians and their careers, lives and livelihoods.

Cultural Freedom
Free Jazz from the legacy of white supremacy that has oppressed, erased, obscured, and sidelined its cultural, political and economic potency on a global stage.

Racial Equity
Recognize Jazz as a preeminent, world-class, Black musical tradition, requiring representation, racial equity and inclusion within all facets of its ecology.

Gender Equity

Acknowledge sexism and homophobia inherent in Jazz, addressing harassment, under-representation, educational inequities and lack of gender parity.

Creative Independence
Allow Jazz to evolve independently from the artificial constraints of industrial demands, thriving as a music reflecting the broadest scope of our complex contemporary culture.

Preserve the Ecology of Jazz
Reverse the destruction of the art form's natural habitat (clubs etc.) establishing innovative venues that act as holistic refuges for Jazz to exist on its own terms.

Economic Equity
Build a new economic foundation supporting entrepreneurial independence for musicians to create equitable and sustainable livelihoods throughout the course of their careers.

Technological Agency
Confront the inherent bias and economic indifference built into technology platforms that distribute music. Demand regulation, fair copyright compensation and future reparations.

Academic Reparations
Reverse the patriarchal and Euro-centric biases within Jazz educational institutions, building pedagogy that reflects the Black and Afro-Latin roots of Jazz.

Institutional Independence
Establish clubs, venues, advocacy groups, foundations, promotional, broadcasting and recording entities organized and run by Jazz musicians and their commonwealths.

Governmental Support
Lobby for creating federal designations that directly support the cultural, political and economic and international travel restrictions effecting Jazz.

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