Jazzy Starbucks

November 7, 2007

Every so often, the sounds of jazz hit me in the face in the most unexpected places. Just a couple of days ago, as I was waiting my turn to order a Grande nonfat latte at Starbucks, Ella Fitzgerald’s Don’t Fence Me In sounded blissfully from an in-store sound system. I hadn’t given the coffee chain’s new monitor system much thought yet, but suddenly felt very appreciative that everyone in line was informed which song and artist was serenading them at that given moment. At the counter, I was handed a free download for a Herbie Hancock tune.

Starbucks’s jazz offerings may mostly consist of recycled and overplayed standards, but I appreciate that millions of latte drinkers can now put an album and an artist to each classic.

Yes, there might be a degree of sadness to the fact that classic American sounds now live on as itunes giveaway cards and background music to morning commuters. But I nevertheless appreciate this corporate giant’s efforts to keep names like Hancock part of the everyday dialogue of this country.

Besides, Sign On San Diego recently informed me that the coffee chain has also invested its funds to promote the work of eclectic, lesser-known new artists. Brazilian Ceu, who sings a mixture of reggae, jazz, Brazilian and pop, is one recent name to be brought to mainstream consciousness through Starbucks.

It’s a bold choice, and I’ll gladly have my coffee with that.


Sign on San Diego article


2 Responses to “Jazzy Starbucks”

  1. Listen Up! Says:

    […] for example, has started giving away a free “Song of the Day” on the iTunes platform. (See Laura’s post on this here.) But if we’re listening to a new artist every day, how are we ever going to have the time to […]

  2. amyvanvechten Says:

    Hey Laura — I don’t know what happened — I didn’t put that comment on here. WordPress must do that to alert you that I linked to your post (which I did).

    Anyways, great post.

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