JAZZ VEDETTA BETWEEN ODEON AND SJIN

(from one of our reporters)

AMSTERDAM- The Odeon Jazzkelder is angered by the Dutch Association of Jazz and Improvised Music (Sjin), the latter refusing to subsidize concerts in the forementioned nightclub located at the Singel. According to Sjin, the bookings of the jazzkelder is insufficiently diverse to be considered for grants. Odeon firmly dissagrees and charges Sjin with inscestious distribution of subsidy- funds to insiders and friends.

The board of Sjin annually decides over around a thousand applicants, all hoping for subsidy enabeling them to give jazz concerts. The Odeon nightclub does not fall within the suitable criteria pertaining to such events taking place with support of the desired governmental grants. Spokesman Huub van Riel: Odeon is a commercial undertaking with different ambitions than exploiting pure jazz… It is a commercial organisation, with a financial agenda, and subsidies are not meant to distributed in such a manner.

Armando Cairo, booking performances for the Odeon, describes this argument as 'ridiculous'. Subsidies are nescessary, according to him, in order to support lesser known artists:”They need a stage enabling them to overcome financial risks. Ofcourse we need to make money, but we are directly in touch with what is happening in jazz in the oad sense. Without grants we are put in a position to invite the better known. mainstream artists.”

Each night a different group of musicians perform at the Odeon jazz-cellar. Cairo: "We're open seven days a week. You try programming that with sufficient diversity ...The Sjin has become a means of creating a steady payroll for friends and family of the supposed avant-garde in jazzmusic. That ‘s increasingly driving me up the wall."

Earlier this year the Sjin was subject to harsh critical notes, when a fieldgroup of the National Artcouncil adviced to interfere with the practices of Sjin. Sjin would have fallen short in its ability to adjust to the signs of the times over a period of twenty years . D'Ancona, minister of culture at the time, has not made a statement about the rapport and findings of her council.She got the advice to increase the number of board- members, while hiring- in doing so, fewer musiscians. Sjin should separate its purposes from the Bim-house, with whom it appearantly was too narrowly involved.