From the filing cabinet to the web: Nation’s jazz archives go online

Imagine easy online access to everything you wanted to know about live jazz performances in America. What was the top tune played last year?  How many people attended live jazz shows? How did the set lists differ for the same artist on different nights?  What did it sound like when two artists played together for the first time?

Next month, MCG Jazz will launch a new Rhiza Folio website about jazz, marking the beginning of an ambitious project to organize and publish details about historical and upcoming jazz performances across the country.

The vision for this project originates with MCG Jazz, one of the top jazz presenters in the world, located right here in Pittsburgh, PA.  MCG’s Executive Producer, Marty Ashby hopes the website will be able to answer the question “What is the State of the Union of Jazz in America”, whether he’s looking at last year’s season or summary data for ten performance seasons.

The website will provide statistics and details about audiences, artists, venues and tunes, along with rich archive material like photos, video and audio clips as well as historical documents, like hand written set lists.  The site will not only help the public access our nation’s jazz archives, it will also help jazz presenters gain valuable business insight into factors that drive ticket sales and sponsorship agreements.

Major jazz organizations across the country have expressed interest in joining the project, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, the The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Association for Performing Arts PresentersMonterey Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz, Smithsonian Institution, All About Jazz, Stanford Jazz Workshop, SFJazz and more.

Stay tuned to hear more about this project in July.