Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Jazzman Sings The Blues: “This one goes out to the PICA gang!”  

For the second straight year, we’ve been treated to a repeat performance from jazz advocate, Tim DuRoche, who occasionally performs as “DuRoche.” Although primarily a musician and writer (“for the WWeek, among others,” we are told), DuRoche steps out of his comfort zone and uses blogging, a new media form, to appraise the local arts scene.

While last year’s performance (you can still catch it here at http://www.tbafestival.blogspot.com/2003_09_01_tbafestival_archive.html) began with a straight ahead, frontal assault that took no prisoners, this year DuRoche inverted the structure of his previous work and started yesterday’s piece with a review of one of the TBA’s Noontime Chats. His new approach certainly mixed it up. Where the 2003 work used critiques of musicians included in the festival, e.g., Vijay Iyer and Daniel Roumain, as a springboard from which DuRoche eventually spanked the curatorial pants of Kristy Edmunds and Erin Boberg, this year DuRoche went ‘meta.’ First using a review or critique of a panel discussion about arts criticism that featured critics, DuRoche then turned it around to criticize Edmunds’ and Boberg’s failure to once again incorporate jazz into the festival’s listings. He went even so far as to quote himself. Albeit, the quote was not a word-for-word paste of his past musings, but DuRoche called on the authoritative power of quotation marks to dispel any doubts about the veracity or legitimacy of his viewpoint. Masterful.

Props should go out to Edmunds and Boberg for facilitating DuRoche’s work. No other local arts organization or event—from the just completed MusicFestNW and Bumbershoot to Reed Arts Weekend—has given DuRoche the space to conduct his important mission. Hopefully, we’ll see similar blogs from DuRoche next year if Edmunds and Boberg can find the funding to maintain their policy of excluding jazz and anything related to it from the TBA’s programming. Fans of DuRoche can support his work by getting the word to PICA staff: please, please, please don’t include jazz in T:BA:05! So what if the “history of art in the 20th century is girded to the path of jazz,” as DuRoche blogs? Those in the know realize that the future of art is lashed to DuRoche.

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