Save Internet Radio & The WWOZ Stream

May 9, 2007 by

Jazz legends, artists and educators joined radio giant WWOZ yesterday to support a national effort to save Internet radio from a recent royalty rate increase that would bankrupt the industry.

In a letter to House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, famed clarinet wizard Dr. Michael White, legendary trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, jazz phenom “Trombone Shorty”, Kidd Jordan and more than a dozen of the most influential voices in American Jazz called on Congress to take action and preserve Internet radio for the future of Jazz music.

“As working musicians who depend on Internet radio to reach our fans and to make new ones, we are extremely concerned that the recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) will close the door to what has become an essential part of our work. Internet radio is one of the precious few outlets we have to reach Jazz audiences and build new ones. If Internet radio dies, the future of Jazz could die with it,” the Jazz legends wrote in a letter addressed to Chairman Conyers.

Representatives of SaveNetRadio, a national coalition of millions of webcasters, listeners, artists and labels joined tens of thousands of Jazz fans this week at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to spread the word and gather the support of jazz artists that depend on Internet radio for exposure and airtime.

New Orleans powerhouse radio station WWOZ‘s General Manager, David Freedman said “the massive new royalty fees directly affect New Orleans artists and musicians throughout the country that depend on Internet radio for air play and to reach new fans. For WWOZ, these new rates would drastically limit our effectiveness as a streaming source, and dictate that stations can’t afford to succeed. The marginalization or complete shutdown of our streaming services, which is the emerging environment, is tantamount to choking off an important voice of New Orleans culture and rendering our volunteer powered effort irrelevant.”

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Internet radio was the only way many New Orleanians could hear news and the music of their home.

The list of artists calling on Chairman Conyers to support H.R. 2060, the Internet Radio Equality Act, which would vacate the CRB royalty rate increase and establish a new standard for setting Internet radio royalty rates, includes the following:

Kermit Ruffins,

Derek Shezbie,
ReBirth Brass Band

Bennie Pete,
Hot 8 Brass Band

Edward Kidd Jordan,
Director, Heritage School of Music
Director, Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp

Marlon Jordan,

Bennie Jones,
Leader, Treme Brass Band

Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews,
Leader, Orleans Avenue

Big Chief Al Doucette,
Flaming Arrows Mardi Gras Indian tribe

David Freedman,
General Manager, WWOZ

Dr. Michael White,
Hot 8 Brass Band

John Boutte,
The New Orleans Social Club

Lee Arnold,
Director, Save Our Brass James Andrews,
Leader, Crescent City AllStars

Ariana Hall,
The CubaNolaCollective

Sylvester Francis,
Director, Backstreet Museum

Jackie Harris,
Director, Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp

Todd Duke,
Crescent City AllStars

Mario Madero,
SpyBoy Productions

George “Loki” Williams
Defend New Orleans & HumidCity

For more information visit SaveNetRadio

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