Missing in a press release outlining plans for the 2002-2003 season at Carnegie Hall was any mention of the highly respected Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, led by artistic director Jon Faddis. The announcement that the band was being dropped from next year’s programming was made by Carnegie Hall’s new director, Robert Harth. It was a disappointment to jazz fans across the country. The band is considered one of the premier jazz ensembles in the world and had performed at Carnegie Hall for the last 10 years.
In discussions with Harth following the announcement, Local 802 offered its assistance in seeking funding sources at the city and state levels to continue the band. Harth insisted that the decision was not about finances but rather about programming changes. In a letter to Local 802, Harth said Carnegie Hall’s “commitment to jazz remains strong, and we will be reallocating resources currently directed to the CHJB to present a wider variety of artists, providing our audiences with a more diverse selection of jazz programming.”