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Jazz Life, the app

Jul 6th, 2011 | By

The decade-old website eJazzNews.com has created an app — Jazz Life — with streaming music, videos, photography, concert and festival reviews, books for purchase, blogs, articles and aggregated news from sites around the web, free and available for iPhones and Android smart phones. A project of Jesse King and Rita Di Michele in conjunction with Toronto-based JJA member Bill King (of Jazz Report Magazine, publication suspended), Jazz Life claims to be the only multi-media mobile application currently available to a vast and quickly growing market. Explore the app here: http://www.jazzlifeapp.com/home.cfm.

“I’ve been fascinated with both technology and seeing the growth and reach of the mobile app market,” says Jesse King, who with Di Michele launched the website Jazzpromo.com in 1998. “We knew this was a great time to focus our efforts on developing an app that offered jazz fans a destination on their smart phones. Currently there are about 200 Million + smartphone users and by 2013/14  that number is expected to reach close to one billion [cf, Wired UK 04.11). This will have enormous implications for how people access and interact with content in the future, and we see Jazz Life as being part of this growth.”

According to a news brief headlined “First Month of Jazz Life,” since its Android release on May 24 and iPhone release on June 1 some 2000 users have downloaded the app and accounted for 82,000 song plays/listens. Marc Myers’ blog Jazz Wax and Doug Ramsey’s Rifftides are featured along with recipes, a tip calculator, eJazz radio, some photo galleries and select music tracks, which can be heard and purchased. Like most such online platforms, there’s a constant demand for new content — “news” postings on Jazz Life seem to be averaging one or two a day, articles such as a profile of Turkish drummer Okay Temiz in the mix along with links to posts at NPR’s A Blog Supreme.

“We’re in what I consider ‘beta’ mode,” King advised. “Trying to get user feedback, establish partnerships with organizations and other content providers. One of the aspects that we’re really excited about is looking to develop partnerships with educational and non-profit jazz organizations.” The app does not presently pay for content, but King suggests “branded” sections provide promotional value for contributors. He also says, “Jazz Life is one of the first apps of a series of ‘Life’-based musical style apps we’ll launch. We started with jazz online 14 years ago, so it’s the one we wanted to launch first. But expect others late this year.”

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About Matthew Kassel

Matthew Kassel is a recent graduate of McGill University, where he studied Arabic and political science while sustaining his interest in jazz. He lives in New Jersey and blogs at coldjazz.blogspot.com.

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