Stores opening on Thanksgiving in 2013 and its impact on Cyber Monday

For many years on Thanksgiving Eve a marketing campaign introduced by an ever expanding number of companies quickly evolved into a common annual past-time. This tradition, according to many, has come to symbolize the official start of the holiday season.

Referred to simply as Black Friday, eager consumers looking to brave the late night elements, more than likely after feasting on Thanksgiving turkey, cranberries and stuffing, look to hit retail stores at midnight in order to acquire the most popular items at a lower price, as well as getting an early start to their holiday shopping season. The main draw of such an unconventional event, which results in crowds of people waiting by the doors hours before being open to the public, is based primarily on the rare deals that are offered for that day and that day only.

cyber monday success

Despite the popularity and success of Black Friday, retailers remained focused on developing new ways to encourage consumer turnout, specifically during the fourth quarter business cycle. So in 2005, thanks in large part to the advancements in technology, a website called Shop.org decided to take advantage of the increasing number of buyers with access to online purchases via personal computers and the world wide web. An ambitious marketing campaign referred to simply as “Cyber Monday” was introduced for the following Monday after Thanksgiving which would offer shoppers the ability to find great deals on a variety of products without out having to leave their own homes.

While not as popular or profitable as Black Friday at first, Cyber Monday firmly established itself as the most prominent online shopping day of the year. Other retailers quickly jumped on board understanding the undeniable potential of such an event and in turn revising their overall holiday marketing strategies on an annual basis. More still, websites such as cybermonday2013.io hopped on the Cyber Monday bandwagon by offering consumers one place to see all of the best deals for many, many merchants.

In 2013, amidst some outrage and controversy, a certain number of retailers including Wal-Mart, Sears and Old Navy along with grocery stores like Kroger and Whole Foods have now chosen to open their doors on the day of Thanksgiving (now being referred to as Grey Thursday) as a way to increase sales while offering customers with even more opportunities to get their shopping done a lot sooner.

The obvious concern, however, from a business standpoint was the impact, if any; it would have on Cyber Monday. At best the effect of an expansion of Black Friday will be minimal based on many factors including convenience along with simple preference. While many shoppers will jump at the chance to venture out and find some rare deals on the day of Thanksgiving others will hesitate to spend the majority of their holiday dealing with the chaotic crowds while taking a chance that they will come away empty handed.

And even though online shopping has not proven to be completely reliable, especially during the holidays due to high volume, more and more customers are realizing the advantages of being able to acquire detailed information about their desired product while comparing prices in the most efficient way possible. More importantly the integration of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets has led to a steady increase in its popularity as more options become available to the average consumer.

So while the retail industry continues to push the proverbial envelope coming up with new and innovative ways to attract live customers there is little they can do to stifle progress as society’s overall reliance on an ever evolving system predicated on taking full advantage of todays technology will continue to grow with every passing day.

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Information on Straight Talk’s Mobile Phone Plans

Straight Talk is a cellular phone company which provides you many options as well as freedoms with an individual’s cellular plan. TracFone Wireless is the parent corporation of Straight Talk. You are able to choose a cellular phone plan from several different alternatives, like selections that don’t ask you to agree to a contract, allowing customers free to switch from Straight Talk at any time. Straight Talk plans are offered from a Wal-Mart retailer and also on the internet, which are easy choices for many customers.

Straight Talk

Straight Talk has many various options for people to select from for your phone, including the hottest models and brands. Regardless of whether customers are interested in basic cellphones or maybe products with tons of amazing features, consumers can find what they’re searching for at Straight Talk. Straight Talk offers mobile phones which are touchscreen in addition to up-to-date with the most current technologies for individuals who love their cool gadgets. Customers know that Straight Talk will have a cell phone for them.

If you want your existing cellphone or just do not want to buy one at Straight Talk, that’s an alternative you could select, also.

Straight Talk also enables you to get a different phone number or even retain your old cellular phone number if you want.

Straight Talk clients will not have any difficulties keeping in touch with loved ones when using the Straight Talk national coverage. Straight talk is usually less expensive compared to competition, with a lot of individuals discovering that their cellular phone charge will likely be decline in half after they change to this corporation. Customers can get an even more economical deal by using online straightpromocodes.com.

Straight Talk allows customers to pick a plan that meets their wants. For example, the unlimited plans let customers unlimited talk and also texting within the United States. There’s also unlimited plans where you can text message plus talk as much as you would like internationally, which is a significant advantage for people who have family members overseas. Don’t need unlimited talking plus text messaging? Straight Talk also has calling plans that fit just about anyone’s price range and also lifestyle.

Consumers have the flexibility to setup calling plans to replenish automatically every month or can easily choose to top off as needed. Certain customers may like the long term Straight Talk plans that are paid in advance for periods of time like three, six, or twelve months.

Straight Talk is a business which is set up to tend to a consumer’s distinctive needs and also accommodate each client individually so that there’s something for everyone.

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2013 Jazz Grammy Winners

Winning a Grammy award is often the highlight of any professional musician’s career. From the time a person first starts singing or playing an instrument, the dream of hearing one’s name called and walking on stage to receive the award is what makes all the hard work worth it. There were winners in many categories at the 55th Grammy Awards in such categories as country, rock and jazz. The Grammy winners in jazz were some of today’s most popular and talented artists.

The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Pre-TelecastThe Grammy for Best Improvised Jazz Solo went to “Hot House,” the title track from the album which featured soloists Gary Burton and Chick Corea. The Best Jazz Vocal Album went to one of today’s brightest stars Esperanza Spalding for her album Radio Music Society. When looking to the category of Best Jazz Instrumental Album, there were several strong candidates for the award. But the winner in the end was Unity Band by Pat Metheny and the Unity Band. The Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album Grammy was awarded to Arturo Sandoval for his wildly popular release Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You).

Latin Jazz was also recognized at the Grammy Awards. The award for Best Latin Jazz Album went to The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band for its album Ritmo. Finally, for Best Instrumental Composition we return to the popular album “Hot House.” Soloists Gary Burton and Chick Corea strike gold again with the composition titled “Mozart Goes Dancing.”

Jazz is a very complex musical genre to master, and all of these winners have proven they have done just that. While not wanting to rest on their laurels, these talented musicians are sure to be hard at work in the coming year to see if their dream comes true once again on the Grammy stage.

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What is the New Orleans Jazz Festival

It’s a southern thing, a very southern thing and it makes the young and the old, the newcomers and the veterans return every year. They are drawn by the magic and the music that is the New Orleans Jazz Festival, known to the local population simply as Jazz Fest. This annual event celebrates the unique culture that defines the port city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana.

What is the New Orleans Jazz Festival

The festival, which is held each year on the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May, is first and foremost about music, in this case Jazz with a capital J. Both traditional and contemporary jazz tunes fill the air and delight the crowds. When that music stops now and again, there are the compelling sounds of the blues, gospel, R&B, Cajun, rock, country, and African-Caribbean. The music of the Jazz Fest also showcases artists. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan,Fats Domino, Harry Connick Jr., Paul Simon, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band have been some of the top performers. It is never musically quiet at Jazz Fest time in the city.

Jazz Festival music, however, is not without competition, in this case the food. Vendors tease the eye and the nose with their mouth-watering southern delights, including, of course, all manner of crawfish and softshell crabs, as well as red beans and rice, jambalaya, fried green tomatoes, and po’boy sandwiches. The food is so enticing that it has received many rave reviews from a far northern neighbor, The New York Times. In addition to the food stalls, the grounds are filled with craft booths where vendors display the works of local and international artists that include jewelry items, paintings, clothing, and leather goods.

This celebration of a special part of southern culture in America has been held each year since 1970 when the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, owned by the New Orleans Hotel Motel Association, was formed. George Wein, who produced the Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, set out to find performing artists from the local clubs of New Orleans. In fact, the first performer at the new jazz festival was a city street singer named Snooks. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive, mainly the work of Allison Miner, was also formed. It contains many photographs and recordings from the festival’s early years. The proceeds from each festival are used to fund community development programs in New Orleans.

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Jazz at Home with ATT Uverse Media Sharing Apps

Twitter is a great way to share what I’m thinking about, but it’s a bit hard to share what I’m listening to, especially if I’m working around my apartment. But after finding an ATT Uverse coupon code 2012, I signed up for ATT Uverse and discovered that they offer a number of really great interactive applications.

A couple of my favorite ATT Uverse apps are the online photo viewer app and the music sharing app.

View your online Flickr photos. If you are an AT&T UVerse customer then channel 91 lets you view any photo that you have uploaded to Flickr.

Share your media. If you use a Windows based PC then you can use your TV to access music and photos that are stored on your computer.

Having interactive apps like the above ones from AT&T U-verse are great ways to integrate everything in your life. For me, I really enjoy using them for accessing all of my jazz music and pictures from JazzFest.

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5 Popular Jazz Artists on Twitter

Jazz music began its origin in the early 1900’s in the auspicious city of New Orléans. Over the course of decades, it developed an assortment of complex styles with the introduction of scat singing, be-bopping, traditional jazz, jiving, down-to-earth funk, and the powerful, exciting, boogie-woogie. Today jazz lovers come in droves wanting not only to explore and experience the music, but also to be able to reach out and embrace those who have the same fervor of rhythm flowing through their veins. Therefore, it is not surprising when one combines that enthusiasm and zeal when logging on to Twitter by vicariously hooking up and tweeting with some fabulous and gifted jazz professionals. 

Cassandra Wilson is a true jazz musician and vocalist that produces, writes, and is talented enough to win two Grammy Awards. Her distinctive sounds incorporate her jazz tunes producing characteristic rhythms of both folk and blues. With approximately 4,050 followers, you are sure to want to be among them.

Another great jazz figure you will want to be sure to tweet with is composer and pianist Chick Corea. He has achieved jazz greatness in his own right by winning the Grammy’s 16 times and being a noted Hall of Famer. He has been pivotal in the jazz scene since the mid 60’s when he began his solo career. His tweeting followers are over 19,000 and growing, proving this renowned pianist knows his jazz. 

Michael Bublé attributes his interest in jazz to listening to his grandfather’s collection of jazz records at the tender age of five. He has sold millions of albums, acquired numerous Juno awards, and won three Grammys. Not only does he have a whopping 860,000+ followers, but Michael is a die-hard hockey fan as well.

Herbie Hancock was born in 1940, and he personifies jazz. He is a bandleader, composer, keyboardist and pianist. He has a list of firsts the length of your arm including the initiation of synthesizers into jazz and his involvement in the “post-bop” reverberation. It‘s been stated that his jazz extemporization is a distinctive mingle of blues, jazz, and contemporary classical music that generates a matchless style. It is of no surprise that this amazing one-of-a-kind jazz tweeter has over 25,000 followers.

For any jazz aficionado, it is not just tweeting with the musicians but also with the makers. One such music maker is Marsalis Music, based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded by reputed jazz musician, Branford Marsalis, over a decade ago, its roster includes bands such as Claudia Acuña, Joey Calderazzo, the iconic Harry Connick Jr. and more. Marsalis Music has a solid foundation in not only the United States but internationally as well.

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5 Great Jazz Musicians

Put a group of talented jazz musicians together, and they’re likely to turn out a wonderfully improvised and harmonious sound. Given the long and varied history of jazz music, that same group might be less likely to agree on a list of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. Still, a few names would be likely to crop up again and again in any discussion of the all-time greats.

The first name to come up would likely be Louis Armstrong. A jazz trumpeter from New Orleans, “Satchmo,” as he was nicknamed, would show up at the top of most lists. Born in 1901, Louis grew up in a jazz-soaked city and learned to play the cornet. His talent would catapult him to a long career. Often credited for influencing the emphasis on solo performance in jazz, Armstrong is still seen by many as the greatest jazz player of all time. He also helped make “scat” singing popular, a vocal improvisation that relies on nonsense syllables and sounds rather than words.

Armstrong himself was mentored by Joe “King” Oliver, a bandleader and cornet player who composed jazz tunes still played today, including “Canal Street Blues.” King actually gave Armstrong his first cornet. Given Armstrong’s ultimate legacy, it’s hard not place Oliver on a list of jazz greats, but he’d likely belong there anyway for his own creative contributions, including the use of mutes to alter the sound of horns.

Born just two years before Armstrong was Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, arguably the best jazz composer ever, and certainly one of the most innovative and creative composers in American musical history. Ellington was a pianist who became a hugely popular bandleader. He is remembered especially for the years his band played at the famous Cotton Club in Harlem. The 1930s and 40s were a golden age for radio, so Ellington’s music had a wide influence. Although he refused to be categorized and played music that was widely influenced by many genres, including classical, Ellington’s place in the jazz pantheon can’t be denied.

Although jazz music originated within the African American community, its creative energy soon transported it to other communities where musicians of other backgrounds learned from the pioneers and put their own stamp on the sound. the “King of Swing”, Benny Goodman, was born into a large family of Russian-Jewish immigrants in Chicago. His early music lessons at synagogue combined with what he learned from traveling New Orleans clarinetists. It wasn’t long before Goodman was an accomplished clarinetist himself. He’s remembered not only for his amazing music but for leading one of the first racially-integrated bands.

Riding on the shoulders of these early greats was Miles Davis, born in 1926. An accomplished bandleader and trumpeter, he became known for his influence on the developing directions of jazz in the middle of the 20th century, especially bebop and cool jazz. Davis was considered a great musician and innovator.

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A History of Jazz

Jazz was created by mixing genres of music together, taking the best things from each one, compiling them and then creating the new style. Jazz goes back to the early part of the 20th century. The African Americans’ jazz tradition has been a part of history for over 100 years. Jazz is created by improvising notes and making up a melody or line of notes while playing.

Jazz started back in the days of slavery, when they would sing to pass the time while they were working. They sung many types of songs including hymns and follow-along songs. One person would sing a line and the others would follow. The combination of the two types of music became the first Jazz songs.

Jazz became widely available when radios and record players were invented. Kids started listening to it and embracing the music. Big Band Swing Jazz also emerged and became the most popular music during the 30’s and 40’s.

New Orleans is the founding city for Jazz. People of all different cultures came to the city looking for money and fortune bringing with them their own musical traditions as well. Jazz clubs are going strong in it’s birth cities including New Orleans, Chicago and New York.

True Jazz music is not written down on paper. It is an emotion, a feeling unlike any other, that has to come out whether on an instrument or thru voice. 

Jazz Milestones
1895 – first Jazz band formed
1917 – first Dixieland Band came together
1920 – introduction to chord symbols
1929-1945 – beginning and end of the Swing era
1936 – Jazz was first integrated
1943 – Jazz was played in first concert hall
1954 – started winning awards for instrumental music
1959 – Improv steps in and expands record sells
1969 – Miles Davis was the first to sell 500,000 copies of his record.
1972-1979 – beginning of loft playing
1984 – A new generation gets a backward look at real Jazz.
1991 – Jazz is classified as an institution.
1993 – Jazzmen became pop stars.
1995 – reviving of the Impulse Record Label
2003 – Jazz was declared a national treasure by the president.
2008 – Grammy for Jazz album was won
2009 – 50th anniversary of Jazz
2012 – April 30th became International Jazz Day.

Jazz is a true part of history. It will live on forever in our institutions and art. Many artists have became famous, such as Satchmo, Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong, just to name a few.

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What is Jazz?

Jazz started over a hundred years ago and began as Ragtime. It originated in the African American communities in the southern United States. It began as a mixture of African and European music. Each culture has added to the genre of Jazz. There is no set definition of what Jazz means, but instead it is influenced by each culture that has touched it. It is a voice that resonates through time and causes its listeners to stop and feel the music. Jazz has many different styles and various forms. It has strong rhythmic structure that has lead to many other musical genres. It is an art form that can be molded into many different sounds. Artists use Jazz to form unique and exciting expressions that tell a story all of its own. Improvisation is almost mandatory with the form of Jazz. It is a creative force that catches the listener and then tells its secrets. Jazz is very much an expression of personal creativity for the musician and true beauty for the listener.

Louis Armstrong said,”…that Jazz is music that is never played the same way once.” Jazz is both new and old and the listener never gets bored. Louis Armstrong helped to build a jazz legacy with the Blues, Brass sounds and Ragtime. He is known as the father of Jazz. In the early 1900’s, New Orleans bands played Jazz, and the groups usually consisted of a clarinet, trombone, trumpet, tuba, banjo and the drums. This was popular music because of its upbeat rhythm and its fast and spirited nature. Louis Armstrong was one of the first musicians responsible for spreading the joy of Jazz to people all over America. He influenced many of the men to give Jazz all they had to offer. Men such as Bix Beiderbecke were responsible for helping to create the Swing Era.

One of the things that makes Jazz so unique is that it is a melting pot of the performers’ cultural backgrounds. There are no limits or walls that restrict the Jazz musician when he/she is composing their music. Many clubs offer Jazz musicians the opportunity to play their own interpretations of Jazz music. It is an opportunity for the musician to create truly unique and moving music. This is a highly unique art form still today. Many musicians started playing their music in Jazz clubs. Jazz continues to evolve and soothe its listeners even in today’s music world. Jazz and Blues festivals are found all over the world today. The wide base for Jazz music allows many interpretations that provide some exquisite music today.

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Welcome to Twitter Jazz Network!

This blog is focused on the many great Tweeps on Twitter who love jazz, Blip jazz, and spread jazz. There’s a very large (and growing) network of people who actively promote jazz on Twitter — the music, the musicians, and the venues. This is an attempt to bring more focus to those efforts, as we continue to fill the gap created by the lack of support for jazz from the music industry and the mainstream media.

If you have any ideas or suggestions for this blog or for the #TwitterJazzNetwork!

UPDATE: The_Jazz_Lawyer suggested adding a Twitter feed with a search on ‘jazz’. Great idea.

UPDATE 2: The search in the Twitter feed has been changed to ‘jazzlives’ — too many irrelevant tweets in the timeline when the search was set to ‘jazz’.

UPDATE 3: Because of an unfortunate email I received about setting the Twitter feed to search for the phrase ‘jazzlives’, I have now set it to search for TwitterJazzNetwork. Most tweets with that tag will appear in the feed.

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