Herbie Hancock Stevie Wonder

Herbie Hancock's Brainchild: International Jazz Day!

The United Nations holds its First Annual International Jazz Day

Lisa Bonner

by Lisa Bonner, May 02, 2012

Herbie Hancock Stevie Wonder

the artists do to keep this music alive. The media must report on this culture, the media largely ignores this. Yes mainstream media likes me, but they think that I am some exception, I am not. There are very talented young musical people just like me, all over the United States, but the media doesn’t shine a spotlight on them. I was fortunate enough to win a Grammy out of the gate, which raised my profile, but what if that hadn’t happened? Sure, I do it, Robert Glasper does it, many of us do it, but what about all the young musical talent that is keeping this music alive that is largely ignored by the media? We’re doing our part, I need the media to do their part.” She smiled and quickly added. “Please!”

As I sat charmed by this young, talented phenom, I could not agree more. We as a media continue to shine a spotlight on the likes of Kim Kardashian, the most famous person famous for doing nothing, yet we have such talent in our midst that goes largely ignored. Is the Media to blame? Yes partially so, because the media sets the agenda, that is Journalism 101. If we, as an audience continue to support the table tossing, wig snatching, fist fighting among black women that is featured on nearly every reality show currently on TV, then that is what media will continue report. Hollywood says that is what we, as an urban culture want; we as a culture must come together to show them that we want and we deserve better.

As we were walking into the Assembly Hall, Robert De Niro, told, “I am glad you’re here, this is an important moment in music, in culture that must be preserved, must be reported on.” He continued, “I just don’t know why this event isn’t supported by more urban media, it’s a shame. We have to do something about this.” And we do.

The 32 artists last night did their part, UNESCO did theirs, The Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz is doing their part. Now we, as culture, and as media must do ours.

Lisa Bonner is an entertainment lawyer with offices in New York City. Follow her on twitter: @lisabonner

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