After several weeks of poring over dozens of e-mails, phone calls, and comments from walk-ins concerning the possibility of changing the name of the annual Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival, we have digested all the suggestions and maintain our original position to keep the same name into infinity.
The issue has been simmering for some time after a few dedicated Jazz & Blues Festival Committee members raised the question in a prior meeting.
Forever the diplomat, Jazz & Blues Festival chief organizer Jim Adamson was more than willing to toss the matter out for public consumption and discourse, despite disagreeing with those seeking a name change for Cherokee's unique and unrivaled winter musical extravaganza.
In a way, the intrepid and entertaining journey the organizers of the Festival have taken us on through the years has led to this dilemma.
From the Festival's origin, "jazz and blues" pretty much summed up the style of music offered by the incredibly skilled, professional musicians hand-picked to play the Festival and its various Pub Crawls and Concerts.
However, through the years and in a spirited effort to keep on keepin' on by attracting more and more music aficionados to this wonderful community each frigid January, the styles of music continually converged and ultimately morphed into a variety of genres, from jazz and blues, to rock and pop, to country, big band and swing.
The noble mindset of everyone involved on the Committee is to keep attracting talented musicians and more and more people; hence, the expanded varieties of musical genres.
So, the elephant in the room is - has the Festival outgrown its name? Is it now a confusing misnomer to continue calling it the Jazz & Blues Festival?
We feel Adamson's pain. Adamson is torn between an allegiance to the Festival's origins and founders, the uniqueness of its name, the branding of this special product, and an old-school philosophy that rightly screams "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
We can buy many brands of tissues but we still call them "Kleenex."
There also are those out there who would like to see a nose ring and tattoos on the Mona Lisa.
Although we disagree with them, we appreciate the sincere and often creative input from many who agree that perhaps a name change is in store.
The daunting task that now remains is for the Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival Committee members to first and foremost scrap any personal agendas, absorb and analyze the public input that was generated, factor in the pros and cons, and then proceed hand-in-hand with a decision that is best for all concerned.
A decision that we hope makes no change in the well-established Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival name.