After reading some quotes made by Marshall Hawkins regarding the jazz festival, I feel I must respond. For him to declare that “smooth jazz” is nothing more than a radio format is inaccurate at best. His comments are condescending toward so many smooth-jazz artists like The Rippingtons, Boney James, Accoustic Alchemy, Brian Culbertson, to mention just a few — some of the artists who are enjoying playing live concerts all over the world and actually are selling more CDs than any other  jazz genre.

He refers to his “preference” as real jazz to be featured at Jazz  in the Pines and not smooth jazz.

Perhaps Marshall  should not decide what he thinks is what the public wants to  hear and maybe do some research. Smooth jazz is out-selling everything in the jazz market and its audiences are tremendous.

Hoping to see smooth jazz included next year. Think out of your box Marshall. You don’t speak for everyone.

Rick Bonanno 

Diamond Valley