The news is sure to spread in more polished form once we’re finished gawking at the Jackson memorial, but in the meantime here’s the gist of today’s announcement by George Wein: he has a sponsor not only for this year’s Newport festivals, but also for a series of events that includes New York in June 2010.
The sponsor is CareFusion, a newly established medical services company -- or rather, a subsidiary of Cardinal Health, now in the process of breaking off and going public. CareFusion isn’t a pharmaceutical, as far as I can tell, but rather a provider of products like “smart-pump” IVs, “automated dispensing cabinets,” and surveillance systems to monitor hospital infection.
This may not carry the same slam-dunk jazz association long enjoyed by the Japanese Victor Company (JVC), but a CareFusion press release valiantly drew a parallel:
Jazz and the medical community have a lot in common. Each embrace innovation and change, believe in the power of harmony and rhythm and know that performance and innovation are what distinguish the best in their field.
Hey, that works for me. The bottom line is that Wein and his company, New Festival Productions, now have a sponsoring partner -- great news for the festivals, for musicians and for audiences. (Please hold back your “jazz is on life support” digs.) And no, there’s no indication that the CareFusion Jazz Festival Series will favor fusion over any other jazz subgenre. More here.
(I should note that as the coauthor of Wein’s autobiography, there are certain ethical reasons for me to abstain from media coverage of his doings. I trust that this blog entry, annotated with that disclaimer, doesn’t violate the code.)
I’ll be posting more on other subjects this week. Tomorrow: some thoughts on JazzTimes.