Wednesday, April 23, 2008

IAJE: A Little Help from Oprah? Bill Cosby?

Might as well spread rumors, just in case there's a chance they could blow up big and somehow turn into fact, right?

I don't have any inside information about the IAJE or, really, much knowledge at all about its structure, particularly the connection(s) between the national office and the local chapters. I don't know if it's too late to salvage the organization, in the wake of its devastating financial crisis.

But if the IAJE somehow COULD be saved, in some way, shape or form, by a sudden infusion of cash, then why couldn't that infusion be provided by, say, billionaires or multimillionaires uniquely concerned with and personally linked to African-American culture?

For example, how about jazz advocate and education activist Bill Cosby?

Or Oprah Winfrey, one of the world's wealthiest women, and for three years (ending in 2007) the world's only black billionaire?

(In a related a question, WHY won't Oprah take just one of her shows and devote it to jazz? Kenny G or the whitebread smooth-jazz stars don't count. Can't she spare even a bit of time for America's art form? does every show have to be focused on touchy-feely faux-Christian New Age religion or teens in trouble or how to get your beauty rest or how to get rid of unwanted fat?)

Or how about Bob Johnson, the founder and former president of BET (Black Entertainment Television)?

There are far worse things these folks could do with their money.

There are others who could contribute, of course, including Bill Clinton, aka "the nation's first black president" and the guy not-so-secretly working to torpedo Hillary's presidential campaign. The Clintons have earned more than $109 million since 2000. And doesn't Bubba kind of play the sax?

Or, say, why not Tom Hanks, aka America's actor?

Bill Gates?

If it's way too late in the game to do anything with IAJE, or what's left of that once mighty organization, why can't any of these people provide financial muscle and lend their high profiles to the cause of an international jazz and jazz-education organization?

Just saying ...

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