Keith Copeland – Preserving Mainstream Jazz for Black Kids (1984) 

SKF NOTE: I rediscovered my Keith Copeland interview transcript in July 2015. Keith and I spoke over dinner at a Centre Island, NY restaurant. I have forgotten the restaurant name. Neither do I remember how this interview came to pass. But re-reading the transcript for the first time in about 30 years, I am impressed! Keith and I had a good rapport, both asking very good questions and giving very good answers.

The audio here has a regrettable buzz I am unable to get rid of without also degrading Keith’s voice and mine. Still, the sound here is much improved over the original tape.

In this first excerpt we are talking about how few young black kids are interested in mainstream jazz — which is a part of their culture. Keith primarily blames the music industry and the educations sytem for not doing enough to promote mainstream jazz to young black kids.

I agree with Keith that the music biz and school system can do better at promoting mainstream jazz, but even in 1984, when this interview took place, I wasn’t accepting that as an excuse for anyone with a real interest in jazz be ignorant of jazz.

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