Ultimate Jazz? Why Not!
Jazz has a new friend. And this unlikely pairing might just be what finally catapults jazz into the cultural mainstream. What is it that finally might just give America's indigenous music its long-over-due notoriety?
Believe it or not it's Ultimate Fighting (aka Mixed Martial Arts).
More and more jazz festivals are not only headlining their events with big names in jazz, but also with big names in this newest and most popular of sports. To no one's surprise, spectators come out for the blood and mayhem, but stay for the jazz.
According to Miles Parker, the spokesman for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the organization which oversees the bludgeoning sport, When we first presented combining the two, nobody thought it would work. Now it's hard to imagine Jazz without UF -or- UF without jazz."
But where did combining the two first come up? According to Parker, We first noticed at many of the UF events, audiences seem to respond to the music as much as the gore and violence. And we particularly noticed they responded positively to jazz. Combining the two community friendly events into one big event just seemed a symbiotic natural.
But understandably, the UFC was a little cautious at first: To many people, jazz can be just a little too edgy and a bit frightening. We didn't want to scare people!"
But success speaks for itself. Monterey Jazz Festival has been combining the events for two years now & JVC Jazz Festival, Inc. will incorporate UF into their various events held throughout the USA starting next year. The Newport Jazz Festival is now in negotiations, but a timetable has yet to be established.