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Interview with our host Wes George for
Jazz World - Part 1/3

Our host and producer Wes George has spent his lifetime in the entertainment's industry all over the world especially in the jazz genre. Here he's talking to
Jazz World about the JazzNet247 project.
 
wes george

JW - When did you start the JazzNet247 Project ?

WG - The first project was THE JAZZ SITE which I started back in 1991 when the internet was in its infancy and it was mainly based on album reviews, stories about the beginnings of jazz and interviews with artists from the modern jazz era. It was through this site that Adam Sieff from Sony Jazz UK contacted me in 1998 and asked me to create a website for Sony Jazz in the UK through my marketing and multimedia business. I hosted and marketed their catalogue of artists for 6 years before they were bought out by BMG in the mid-noughties.

During this time I renamed
THE JAZZ SITE as THE EUROCLUBDEJAZZ in association with SONY JAZZ and that was just mayhem with thousands upon thousands of artists coming to it daily with albums for review, artists' interviews, grapevine news. We hosted a Talent Competition with the last 12 artists getting a compilation CD released by Adam Sieff at Sony Jazz. I created free micro websites for hundreds of artists, created E-Cards, Enhanced CDs, Digi-Cards and E-Newsletters for them.

It was at this time when I created
JAZZNET247 RADIO EUROPE which had 8 radio channels and showcased the music of the various jazz sub genres. It became so large so quickly that I couldn't handle it anymore with my full time carer's job for my wife, my business and my daughter to raise, so I stopped The EuroClubdeJazz, but kept the radio station which has operated for the last 26 years.

JW - Why do you bother with something that actually costs you money to operate ?

WG - After a lifetime in the entertainment's business in many roles I like to give something back to the industry, but more importantly I like to try and help those who try and continue the great expressive and creative jazz genre artform and give them support to air their music and market them to a wider audience.

The jazz genre has less than 5% of the total music buying public and needs all the help that it can get to try and stay afloat. Being a marketer and PR guy by profession plus having operated my own marketing and multimedia business for 28 years I had a decent skill set to do it. This coupled with my own huge music collection, thousands of albums submitted to me for review via my websites, and the full
Sony Jazz catalogue which I received as webmaster from them meant that I had a massive resource of music to include my own personal jazz sub genres of mainstream, smooth, vocal and Brazilian jazz. It would be a shame not to use it and try and inform others of the artists and songs.

JW - Why Jazz and not other music genres ?

WG - My parents were professional jazz musicians and played in a big band / cabaret band 6 nights per week for 35 years. I grew up in the 50's hearing the music during practice nights on Sundays when they would rehearse new songs, and my mum, the pianist, was bathing me with one hand and playing piano with the other.

As time went by I knew all the big hits of the day plus many from the past when jazz music was 'the' pop music. As I grew older I was of course exposed to the current popular music of the day, but also explored other genres through my two brothers who were also musicians like me, but one liked soul and bossa nova music and one like country. I took a liking for bossa nova in the early 60's when Tom Jobim, Stan Getz and Astrud and Joao Gilberto became popular in north America.

I became hooked on Bossa Nova, Latin, soul, funk and of course jazz, but I also became a big fan of fusion jazz of the 70's especially Azymuth, George Duke and bands like Spyro Gyra and The Rippingtons. Some R & B acts like Michael McDonald and Daryl Hall caught my ear and when I went to Canada to work in the late 70's I couldn't play any of the soul, funk and jazz that I had performed live or as a DJ, so I had to learn a complete new repertoire of soft rock with bands like Bob Seeger, Lynard Skynard, Dan Fogelberg, Asia, Journey, Kansas, Vancouver's own Doug and The Slugs et al, I was familiar with the ones that had crossed over into the pop charts, but never actually played them myself.

However I grew up playing guitar from the age of 5 and was a big fan of the acts who started out in
THE TROUBADOUR in West Hollywood in the early 70's e.g. The Eagles, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Steve Martin, Jackson Browne, Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell etc etc, I learned many of their songs on the guitar and performed them in my bands and even to this day I still play them in my music studio here at home.  

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Interview with our host Wes George for Jazz World


JW
- Tell us a little about STREETJAZZ

WG - I used the name as the focus of my project which was to introduce listeners to independent artists as opposed to the chart artists whose music is played more often as they have large marketing budgets and record companies behind them for support. The indie artists have no such luxury and depend on projects like mine and word of mouth to get themselves better known.

It was with this in mind that I created Enhanced CDs in the early noughties and showed indie artists how they could sell 5,000 cds to one customer instead of 500 to 500 customers that they were currently selling. For my Enhanced CD projects I won a national marketing award in the USA in 2000. My Digi-Cards were a similar success which were the same size as a conventional Business Card, but was also a small CD which held data and the end user could play it on their computer at home with artist info, record and tour news and sound samples on it.


Today
STREETJAZZ is produced weekly and broadcast legally on JAZZNET247 RADIO EUROPE through our host broadcaster LIVE365, they take care of any royalty payments which is important to actually pay the artists for their work. It is not so much, but every little helps. LIVE365 is now available through the AMAZON ALEXA app in the USA, Canada and the UK so has opened up another avenue for our show to be heard. The show is also available via our website which also includes the entire current and previous PLAYLISTS to view.

JW - How do you go about producing STREETJAZZ ?

WG - It might surprise people to learn that each show takes between 20 and 30 hours per week to research, produce, post and market.

It starts with producing a PLAYLIST for the 24 songs, then I have to select a song from the choosen artists, about 5 or 6 of these are from the current
BILLBOARD and GROOVE JAZZ CHARTS, many of the major Record Companies and Servicing Agents have been sending songs to me weekly since I started out in 1994.

Then I select artists who are going to be OUR FEATURED ARTIST OF THE WEEK, OUR BRAZILIAN PORTRAIT ARTIST and OUR INDIE ARTIST OF THE WEEK .

Then I select two suitable songs in the movies for our JAZZ AT THE MOVIES feature, so many great songs have been used over the years and most people will have missed them along the way with many artists writing songs for use in movie soundtracks.

Once all 24 tracks have been selected I have to research the albums that they come from for Meta Data for LIVE365 and find their Packshots which often need resizing and a change of format. I also wrote a dynamic Flash programme which imports Meta Data and Packshots into the website to play the current show.

Once the songs for the show have been collated they need Engineered and all of the MP3's need converted to WAVE FORMS and then equalised to have the same output value when I use them in the Recording Studio, that way they all have the same output volume. All of the jingles and Add Ons we use have already been done.

Once that is done I write the show and then prepare to record it. Once recorded in the Studio it then needs Editing and Sliced into 24 files. Each file then needs to be Named, Transposed back to an MP3 Pro file and the Meta Tags added again.

Once that is all done they need testing before posting to
LIVE365, then added to a PLAYLIST and a SCHEDULE.

Once all of the files have been posted to the website I update the current show and all of the relevant files are added and posted online, then retested and checked for accuracy.

Marketing on our
BLOG PAGES will have already begun 4 days in advance with a SHOW TEASE via Facebook, and then the show is posted live each Wednesday, then the BLOG PAGES tell our followers and the Public that the new show is available and where that is.

Then I post to the 350 plus Facebook Groups that we are members of and tell those jazz fans about the current playlist and where they can tune in to the show.

Of course during the week anytime I will be receiving songs, communications via email, Blog Page, Twitter, Instagram et al so it is a lot to do for someone who has to actually PAY LIVE365 and website costs for the privilege of legalizing the show for broadcast.

JW - Is the show popular ?

WG - Yes indeed it is the Number One Internet Jazz Show here in Austria and last week's reports from LIVE365 showed 564 Session Starts by people from Russia when I featured a Moscow saxman
Alexander Dovgopoly who submitted his music to the show for inclusion. Right there is my payback that someone is marketing 'Push And Pull'. I featured his music and he told his friends about JazzNet247, everybody wins.

* Read Part 2 of this Interview
* Read Part 3 of this Interview

Also see - Wes George Talks to LIVE365

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