That’s the eternal question. With technology giving us everything at out fingertips. The question that begs to be asked is “why go see live music if you can find the performer on YouTube?” With that said there’s so much available footage of the “greats” for the cost of having a high speed internet connection. Any rare recording maybe already be posted on YouTube.
What’s missing is the “direct experience” of the live performance! The “experience” of being in the same room as the musical performer during “spontaneous combustion/creativity” is a far cry from observing an artifact of the experience. There’s an energy exchange that happens between a performer and audience. A big part of performance is the interaction between audience and performer. Once the audience is engaged in listening to a musician than the journey begins to unfold. If the music is treated as background say in a restaurant gig situation, the music loses it’s power. It becomes the equivalent of white noise that sets a mood/ambiance.
The power of live music is the engaged listening experience of audience to performing musician. A great musician plus a great audience could equal a “Great Concert” if all parties included are present for the process of development. That process is always on the search for what’s new. That’s truly what jazz is. It’s the search for “what’s new.” It’s the process of discovery in the context of live performance that needs to be supported. Great music needs a great audience!