35 and Alive

Aside from being the youngest age permissible for a U.S. President, the atomic number for Bromine and the gauge of photographic film, “35” doesn’t have much significance. Unless you’re a magazine that’s celebrating a 35th anniversary in an era when most people believe that print magazines are dead and no longer of any value. But, as bestselling author and innovation strategist Greg Satell so eloquently mentioned on a recent JAZZIZ Not What You Think podcast, “Value doesn’t actually disappear, it just shifts from one place to another.”

Over the past three decades and change, JAZZIZ has expanded from a start-up operation in a tiny apartment during my university days to a one-story building in Gainesville, Florida, in the ’90s to our current home in Boca Raton. During that time, the magazine has morphed from a homely 32-page bi-monthly publication to a handsome monthly with a CD to a striking 132-page quarterly. Concurrently we developed our daily and weekly content online through our website and monthly digital issues. During this journey, among other things, we’ve spun off a record label at Verve, opened a few live music venues, and we’re still producing JAZZIZ-themed live shows. While this issue’s cover story looks back fondly at some of the award-winning photography that we’ve commissioned and run in this magazine over the years — some of which is now rightly regarded as classic by students of jazz history — we’re also celebrating the launch of our “Digital First” campaign, which will provide fresh ways to share, explore and discover new music with JAZZIZ.

From this issue onward, in addition to continuing to produce quarterly print issues, we’ll be expanding our presence online and for mobile devices — behind a paywall, which only subscribers will be able to access — so that you can connect to JAZZIZ anywhere, listen to podcasts and weekly music compilations, watch videos of live performance and commentary, and encounter artists and music in ways not possible in print alone. We’ve also upgraded our customer service to help you access all of this fresh content.

We no longer see ourselves as magazine publishers only, though we’ll still work hard to produce a great magazine. We never lose sight of the fact that the print magazine is something like our first child. For much of our ever-expanding family of readers, the print magazine is where it all began, and we’re proud of how the magazine, with its unequaled look and content, has matured over the years.

Even though a 35th anniversary lives between more significant 25th and 50th anniversaries, we figure that 35 years of existence is something worth celebrating. We still live with the daily trials and tribulations of magazine publishing, and this birthday reminds us of the importance of you, the reader — the reason we do what we do. Older and hopefully wiser, we’re focusing on creating experiences for you in a range of formats — from print to live to virtual — to enjoy. By doing so, we hope you’ll be there to celebrate with us on our next big milestone. —Michael Fagien

Feature photo of Esperanza Spalding by Tom Legoff

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