Writer/Filmmaker Bret Primack has been at the forefront of new media since he co-founded Jazz Central Station in 1995. In 1997 he was the first Jazz blogger with Bird Lives, where, as the Pariah, his heartfelt diatribes struck a responsive chord in the music industry. Bret has also created websites for Sonny Rollins, Billy Taylor, and Joe Lovano, among many others.
A graduate of NYU Film School who worked in documentaries and industrials, Bret returned to filmmaking in 2004 and began producing videos for Jazz musicians. When YouTube debuted, he began posting as the Jazz Video Guy, a nickname his grandson, Damani, gave him.
“When I I first started posting Jazz videos in the Spring of 2006, web video was just getting started and there were plenty of skeptics. In fact, one noted Jazz industry publicist wrote me a dismissive email and said, do you really think anybody is going to watch video on a computer screen?
Four years later, video is the most important, heavily utllized part of the web. Today, people can jump on YouTube and watch John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Lester Young in a way never before possible. Because Jazz is a global medium, there are people from all over the planet who are now active participants. We’ve gone from a small group of people controlling the music that’s recorded, distributed and heard, to low-cost recording and free distribution on the web. Video has followed, with the advent of mini-DV technology and the ability to edit video on a computer.
My videos celebrate the music and all of its possiblities, reaching people all over the planet, giving them a vehicle to learn and share.”