[Listen to Jazz Theatre in the streaming archive]
I have a personal mission statement in mind for Jazz Theater. That is, to really celebrate the fact that Jazz Is Alive and Thriving. Now!
In recent years, jazz has been cast in an unfortunate historical context -- as something that already happened, and is now over. Or, individual "experts" are too willing to narrowly define jazz - like; it sounds like this, and like that, and like this -- and if it doesn't, it isn't jazz.
I think instead, that jazz, like any vibrant art form, has a mandate to expand and recreate itself -- to try new things, to get better, or at least to be different today than it was yesterday. Certainly jazz has a rich history. But part of that history is expansion and progression. Jazz never has stood still for long, there's no reason to think is should now.
In programming Jazz Theater I look for compelling work by artists who have been willing to blaze new trails. Clearly they have all studied the history of jazz, and thankfully they are not willing to be confined by it. Some of Jazz Theater will be familiar and, hopefully, some of it will be like nothing you've ever heard before.