Down beat

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Down beat

description American jazz magazine
Area of ​​Expertise Jazz, Blues & Beyond
publishing company Maher Publications (USA)
First edition 1934
Frequency of publication per month
editor Frank Alkyer
Web link
ISSN (print)

Downbeat is an American jazz - magazine with the world's highest circulation and the first magazine of this music genre . It was first published in Chicago in July 1934 and has been published monthly since April 1979. From the beginning, a “Readers Poll” was advertised for the best musician. Since 1953 there has also been a “Critics Poll” for all instruments and categories. These awards are among the most important prizes in the jazz world.

Publication history

The title downbeat refers to the first, stressed beat of a clock , by the conductor or bandleader vertically downwards ( down beat) is. The magazine was founded in Chicago in July 1934 by insurance salesman Albert J. Lipschultz, who offered Chicago musicians insurance as well as pension insurance. The first issue was eight pages and cost ten cents. Down Beat's main rival was the jazz magazine Metronome . Initially the paper appeared monthly, from 1939 twice a month on the first and the fifteenth day. From January 1946 to April 1979 an edition was published every two weeks.

In 1934, the influential chairman of the musicians' union James C. Petrillo (see recording ban ) forced Lipschultz to either only sell insurance policies to the musicians or to publish a jazz magazine, but not be able to do both at the same time. Lipschultz then sold the sheet to Carl Cons and the former saxophonist Glenn Burrs for $ 873 in November 1934. The two publishers Cons and Burrs represented progressive New Deal ideals as values ​​and goals .

In 1950 John Maher became editor of the magazine. When he died in 1968, his son Jack Maher (1925 - February 14, 2003) was only able to keep the paper in family ownership through the use of his entire equity. This saved the magazine from being taken over by the avowed jazz lover and Playboy editor Hugh Hefner . Maher jr. immediately introduced a new publication policy. He now presented black musicians on the down-beat cover without restrictions and engaged such respected music critics as Leonard Feather , Nat Hentoff , Dan Morgenstern , Ralph J. Gleason and Ira Gitler , who in turn were very open to modern jazz. The current editor is the longtime down-beat editor Frank Alkyer.

Since 1936 the magazine has published surveys among its readers about the most popular jazz musicians by genre, the Down Beat Reader Polls , as well as other jazz magazines (such as Metronome from 1939 to 1961 or the Swing Journal ). They were and are of great importance to the jazz scene, especially in the USA. From 1953 came Downbeat Critics Polls added, in which the selection was made around the world as the mid-1970s of about 50 critics and 2010. 84. They selected in the categories Established Talent (Established Talent) and New Star (1963 talent deserving against recognition ).

A regular contribution is the Blindfold Test, in which jazz musicians are supposed to assess recordings (and the musicians involved are supposed to guess) without being named.

Down Beat Lifetime Achievement Award

Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame

Audience vote, unless otherwise stated, critics vote only from 1961. From 2010, a Veteran Committee added additional musicians (listed separately). The official home is the City Jazz Club of Universal Studios in Orlando (Florida) .

Veteran Committee election:

See also


  • Frank Alkyer (Ed.): Down Beat. 60 years of jazz. Hal Leonard Publishing, Milwaukee 1995, 270 pp., Ill., ISBN 0-7935-3491-7 (more than 100 classic articles and photographs from the magazine)
  • Paul Douglas Lopes: The rise of a jazz art world. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, ISBN 0-521-00039-4 , 294 S. ( passim mentioned)
  • Frank Alkyer, Ed Enright, Jason Koransky (Eds.): The Miles Davis Reader. Interviews and Features from Downbeat Magazine. Downbeat Hall of Fame Series, Hal Leonard Books, New York 2008, ISBN 978-1-4234-3076-6
  • Frank Alkyer, Ed Enright, Jason Koransky (Eds.): DownBeat - the great jazz interviews. A 75th anniversary anthology. Hal Leonard Books, New York 2009, ISBN 978-1-4234-6384-9

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Jazz in the Catbird Seat: It Was Always not So . New York Times , Jan. 6, 2001
  2. ^ A b c Rinker on Collectibles: Questions & Answers. Vintage collectibles.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , October 28, 2009@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  3. a b About Down Beat ( Memento of the original from March 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Music: Down Beat's Tenth . In: Time Magazine , July 31, 1944
  5. ^ Paul Lopes: The rise of a jazz art world , p. 127,
  6. Jack Maher, 78, Jazz Magazine Publisher . , New York Times, February 18, 2003
  7. Editor of Down Beat has died . ( Memento of September 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) JazzEcho, February 21, 2003, archived at the Internet Archive
  8. ^ Associate editor was John A. Tynan in Los Angeles from 1955 to 1965 .
  9. ^ Obituary for Sheldon Meyer
  10. ^ Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame . ( Memento of March 6, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Official list
  11. Tom Hull Down Beat Hall of Fame