This Saturday will be the 4th Annual Record Store Day, an international celebration of independent music retailers. The festivities are highlighted by in-store performances and special releases of limited edition music, mostly on vinyl. Independent record stores? Collectible vinyl? This sounds like a holiday for jazz fans!
Except there are no jazz artists participating. None. No re-issues of classic records on weirdly-colored 180g wax, no limited edition 7″ singles of today’s up and coming artists, no one-time-only collaborations between living legends. There’s indie rock, classic rock, punk, pop, metal, hip-hop…but no jazz at all.
This shouldn’t keep you away from your local shop on RSD. Most stores are running great deals all day long, so even if none of the special releases interest you you might be able to find something good. Really, when is it not a good idea to hit up your local record store?
What it should make you do is question who the hell is running the marketing departments for our favorite jazz labels. An international event, steadily growing in popularity, taylor-made for jazz fans and artists…that sound like something a jazz marketer might want to jump all over, maybe make sure his established artists are featured, make sure his up-and-coming artists are playing in-stores in front of fans and potential fans on what is becoming the single biggest day for independent music retailers of the entire year.
Just saying, the next time you hear someone bemoaning declining jazz sales, maybe remember Record Store Day and wonder how many other opportunities are they missing?