My first thought when I read this was, “Ah, what’s new. Just more stuff to add to my Vine Rot files.” I really do have such files and if printed could probably fill at least half of the jazz museum.My “second endings” are usually better and that is true in this case. Could Greg Carroll have done better? NO DOUBT! Mr. Carroll has a track record of being a major player in the biggest annual convention of jazz people on Earth, year after year after year. The International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) holds it annual convention every January and it is attended by over 7,000 people from all over the world.As I look back over the 10 year history of the jazz museum, I see some terrible blunders and terrible management. The first Executive Director (Rowena Stewart) was good at building museums. She didn’t know dink about jazz. She should have left years before she did.Her replacement wasn’t a lot better when she started but she came around a LOT. Juanita Moore was a very quality person and good at many of the things it takes to run a jazz museum. She did fall short in knowledge of jazz, the jazz audience and in reaching out to the community in my opinion. I enjoyed serving on a board with her (not the museum board). She made changes and had things heading in the right direction.When Juanita left, there was an acting director hired. She was absolutely not the person for the gig and I think that became apparent early on. Credit the Board with getting on with their national search for the right guy at the right time.For the first time, the jazz museum has an Executive Director who can get on stage and play jazz, conduct the band, talk to the audience with excitement and convince the corporate world into supporting him with bucks! He fully understands jazz: the musicians, the audience, the venue operators, the history and as well as any person alive, the future of jazz. He is going to make that happen in Kansas City. He has told me and many other that this gig is not just a stop over in his jazz career. He is here to stay and put this place back on the world jazzmap.Greg would have never hired a 60,000 consultant to put a gig like this together. He knows how to do it and knows how to get the right people doing it. He also would not have hired Patty Dumbell for $50,000 for this event. My guess is that if he had planned the event, it would have been held over about a week and filled with fantastic well known jazz artist who would darn near give anything just to participate in the events.One major thing that was pointed out in the Star article is that Greg and troops are accepting the accountability for this and going to take care of it. That will be tough but it will be done. He knows how to do it.Finally, Greg needs a better Board of Directors to measure and monitor what he does. The mix of people composing that board has improved and I feel that it will continue to improve.One more thing Greg needs to do. He should get his former employer to move their organization right across the street from the Blue Room. That’s where the IAJE’s world headquarters needs to be, not in the little apple (which is a wonderful little town).I have total faith in Greg Carroll and give him 1,000% of my support. I challenge him to make sure I put nothing more in the Vine Rot files.
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