Harold will perform at the Jazz Festival tonight. He has loaded his laptop with the musical identity of many Jazz Greats by analyzing thousands of Blue Note and other Jazz albums. His computer holds the personalities of many historical musicians as well as detailed samples of many instruments. Harold can switch from personality to personality on the fly. Imagine a Charlie parker solo that changes to a John Coltrane solo in the middle of a song. Imagine switching the personality’s instrument…..Miles Davis playing saxophone or guitar for example.

Harold will improvise a lot during his show. He will switch between different personalities and instruments and create new combinations by asking the Keith Jarrett personality to play guitar with 25% of Chet Baker thrown into the mix. Or John McLaughlin to play oboe with a little Youssou N’Dour thrown in…….

I can see this happen at some point. It’s a natural step beyond the Disc Jockey of today. But that won’t change the fact that a real musician playing a real instrument in real time will still be a unique event that people will want to see. If anything it will become more valuable in the next century, because there is less music education in schools today than ever, and many people won’t want to invest the time it takes to learn an instrument and to become truly comfortable with it. I mean, it takes years to make a beautiful sound on a saxophone or cello……..who will want to take that time, when all of their friends can use samples of great saxophone sounds?? Or will all acoustic musical instrument become obsolete like the viola da gamba????