Founded and published in Portland, Oregon since 1997, Jerry Jazz Musician’s mission is to explore the culture of 20th Century America with, as noted jazz critic Nat Hentoff wrote, “jazz as the centerpiece.”
We focus on publishing content geared toward readers with interests in jazz music, its rich history, and the culture it influenced – and was influenced by.
We regularly publish original interviews, poetry, literature, and art, and encourage our readers to share their own perspectives.
Praise for Jerry Jazz Musician
Nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association for “Best Website Concentrating on Jazz,” 2006 and 2007
Twice honored by Amazon.com as “Associate of the Month,” chosen from hundreds of thousands of Associate Websites.
“Of the jazz websites I visit, the most far-ranging – and therefore, most often surprising – is Jerry Jazz Musician…The site encompasses what could be called American civilization with jazz as the centerpiece.”
- journalist Nat Hentoff
“Your site is a wonder.”
- author Greil Marcus
“It’s a tremendous site, full of surprise and information.”
- critic and author Gary Giddins
“You do an astonishing job with these materials. More power to you – and many thanks for picking me to receive the full JJM treatment!”
– Jack Johnson biographer Geoffrey Ward
“First time visiting your site, to read the [Pulitzer Prize-winning author] Diane McWhorter interview, which was so good. The way the graphics and links are tied in is really wonderful, and the interview was serious. Your site is a hip experience.”
– author Tom Piazza
“There is a much richer level of thought in your magazine than what one encounters in any other American magazine – the most ambitious and the most remarkable jazz magazine I have ever seen. What a sweep! What you are doing for American culture is so unique and so well considered, all the rest of us can do is observe it with awe.”
– critic Stanley Crouch
The origins of “Jerry Jazz Musician”
The origins of the character “Jerry Jazz Musician” came out of a Woody Allen stand-up routine from the 1960’s called “Unhappy Childhood.” During the routine, Allen jokes about riding the subway to his clarinet lesson, dressed “Jerry Jazz Musician style.” The description conjured up images of someone who is hip – a guy who “made the scene.”
This image became inspiration for creating a fictional character who embodies all the qualities of the mid-century urbanite – stylish, well read, loves music, sports and culture, and hangs out in night clubs, record and book stores, and travels around the world.
In 1997, a logo was developed, and two years later, the site was launched as part catalog, part magazine. The magazine portion of the site continues to be published.
The reference to Jerry Jazz Musician can be heard at the 1:10 mark.
Founder and Publisher: