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An open letter to Howard Reich – Arts & Entertainment columnist for the Chicago Tribune.
(Published: August 08, 2014)

Regarding your July 11, 2014 article "Millennium Park elevates Jazz Fest, but not enough."

You insufferable a##. For all of your base and petty criticisms, not one mention is made of the stellar line-up of entertainment for this year's fest. This is not a mistaken omission. You continue this sophomoric (and annual) sniping at an event that wisely eschews your input. Indeed, there were logistical issues. Such things are inherent in the first time use of Millennium Park, a very large venue. There are some very smart and adaptable people that run the show and you can be confident they are aware. It will be a great Jazz Fest.

Yet you have made sure the public hears about last year's hurdles before the gates even open in 2014. Really Howard' Has it become a game of psyops and propaganda' This article has the appearance of an attempt to muddy the waters and adversely influence public opinion in advance of the event. The truth is Hyde Park and it's local festival is your "cause celebre". And your desire to see it more effectively funded will, no doubt, be a redistribution of already limited funds. It smacks of something other than the welfare of the "city's centurylong, global reputation as a jazz nexus". One could easily view this as territorial urination. It has an odor.

You are dividing a community in need of a unifying ethos. We have an obligation to elevate our vocation. Neighborhoods need to be joined together, not fortified with provincial boundaries. The young, talented writers of new music and movers of the "bar", throughout the city, need support and nurturing. This requires a fundamental cultural change and those with access to the "bully pulpit" can make a significant difference. That would mean you. -

Joe Tortorici (producer, engineer)

More Information: http://jazzmasters.moonfruit.com/

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