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  The Cultural Implications of Globalization  
  by Dustin Garlitz  

        December 2004:

       With transnational corporate entities uniting and international capital flows soaring in number, the global financial system will soon be linked in every facet.  Once the world’s economy is fully connected, the cultural sphere will be next.  Jazz is America’s cultural phenomenon, yet many nations have their own unique music.  Once the Bretton Woods regime of the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund unite economic capital, cultural capital will be next in line for assimilation.  This means jazz musicians may have to start incorporating other aspects of world music in their style.  Don Cherry was one jazz musician who embraced other cultures’ music; so did Dave Brubeck (as demonstrated in his opener to Time Out). 

       William Parker once showed a class of New Jersey middle school students, via the internet during a Knit Media jazz school session recorded in New York City's Lower Manhattan, that Albert Ayler’s soprano style sounded like Cantonese music.  Soon the United Nations will start promoting musical festivals that place jazz side by side with South Indian and East Asian music, as well as other distinct art forms from different cultures.  People are against globalization because they think it generates and permeates the notion of economic inequality, yet I think it has ameliorative cultural pursuits: further integrating the arts. 

       A united world may one day look at jazz as America’s gift to global culture, but jazz will not be the dominant music of the world.  I’m okay with this since I feel our nation’s bureaucratic leviathan has already contributed to enough of a hegemonic persona abroad.  I feel that other countries shouldn’t be quieted the way they have been in the past.  When Benny Goodman toured the USSR, he was diplomatically promoting jazz as capitalist foreign policy; now I want to hear what other nations have to say, through their own music.