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Artscape: Why so little jazz?

The choice of Brian McKnight for headliner at Artscape is not the only poor decision made by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts ("X-rated songs by Artscape headliner stir controversy," July 19). They also nearly eliminated jazz from the concert line-up, except for trumpeter Dontae Winslow (who at least is a good choice). Over the last few years, jazz has been featured on a dedicated stage at the end of Charles Street. The performances have featured many of Baltimore's stellar jazz musicians and have been well-attended.

So why is jazz a virtual non-presence at this year's Artscape? Baltimore is blessed with a vibrant jazz scene where a number of world-class musicians such as Todd Marcus, Warren Wolf, Seth Kibel, George Spicka, Alan Blackman, Eric Kennedy, Jeff Reed, Larry Willis, Gail Marten, Ethel Ennis, and others too numerous to mention regularly perform. Baltimore was home to numerous past jazz greats such as Cab Calloway, Chick Webb, Eubie Blake, Ruby Glover.

Does Artscape no longer aim to represent a wide range of musical genres for its audience of millions of people not only from Baltimore but from all over the region? Who put on the blinders this year?

Elizabeth Fixsen, Savage

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