#mamusicind MED7201 Week 4: Cultural Entrepreneurship

Brief:

Give your definition of cultural entrepreneurship. Locate a cultural entrepreneur in your local area and produce a case study on why you think they might be considered a cultural entrepreneur.

For me, cultural entrepreneurship is when a person or business is trying to make a cultural impact through the enterprise that they run and the products/services that they produce and sell. The main goal or priority of a cultural enterprise is first and foremost not to make a profit, but to produce a product or service that will culturally impact society. Of course, if the enterprise then actually does make a profit through their activities then that is just an added bonus.

So if I go by my own definition of cultural entrepreneurship, a very obvious cultural enterprise in my local area is of course the business that I work for, Jazzman Records, owned by the cultural entrepreneur Jazzman Gerald.

The cultural enterprise that he runs is a small independent record label that specialises in reissuing very rare and obscure records on vinyl. Focusing on genres such as Jazz, Funk, Soul and Jukebox R&B, the company focuses on a very niche market, even more so due to the vinyl format that we use for all of our releases.

The business itself is not a huge money making machine, and usually most of the money that it makes gets reinvested straight back into the company in order to be able to put out more records.

So why do I consider Jazzman Gerald to be a cultural entrepreneur?

First of all, because of his undeniable passion and love for the music that he unearths and his incredible will to make sure that this music becomes accessible and available to a much broader audience world wide. He spends a great amount of time searching for these very rare and obscure records that the label reissues, and one of the main reasons for why he set up the business to begin with was to make sure that people all around the world who either can’t afford to pay the high prices of the original recordings, or because they simply have never heard of the music before, would be able to access this great music easily and at affordable prices.

Secondly, because he is passionate about educating people about the music and the artists behind these rare records, ALWAYS going the extra distance and making sure that people behind the music get the right compensation and  recognition for their work.

A lot of the music that gets reissued on Jazzman Records (and it’s sister labels) would be forgotten or never even discovered if it wasn’t for the hard and dedicated work of the Jazzman Records team.

You can read a recent interview with Jazzman Gerald on iCrates, and below is an old RBMA lecture from 2006 where the label was fairly new, but it still works as a good example of what Jazzman Records and Jazzman Gerald is all about.

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