The Improbable Aficionado


Since the late 90s, I have worked in the music industry focusing on jazz in numerous and various capacities including licensing, royalties, booking, marketing, public relations, radio and consulting, etc. I am a life-long lover, enthusiast and supporter of jazz. Interestingly, it is the popular reaction to this reality which is largely in-part the inspiration for this blog.

My age, race and gender have been consistent curve balls to my associates throughout the years, creating both confusion and curiosity about me and jazz. As I evolve, the realization is that the conspicuous issue is the lack of diversity in the business of jazz. From recording, to producing, to journalism, the spectrum of people who document and present jazz is very narrow.

I should not be an anomaly of sorts. Consequently, I have become compelled to uncover the social and cultural relationship to the problem and have a dialogue in the process which you might not expect… “unlikely” topics from the “unlikely” fan.

–  The Improbable Aficionado.

Angelika Beener is an award-winning journalist and host, with a dynamic career in the music business that stretches over the last 18 years. Angelika is a member of the Jazz Journalists Association and she has contributed pieces to various media outlets and organizations, including DownBeat, Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Public Radio, and Nextbop, among others, and lectures on event panels about jazz journalism in the contexts of race, gender, and generation.

21 responses to “The Improbable Aficionado

  1. Hey Angelika, I just wanted to say that Alternate Takes is a refreshing blog that gives the viewer an inside scoop in our world of jazz, like you, I grew up listening to jazz music but only it was my dad and his brother arguing about who’s solo was dynamic on Count Basie’s Band lol… I started out in the performance aspect but being behind the scenes really captivated me,so, my first efforts were to produced a public access tv show called Artists in Motion which is about the jazz musician and what else? art. Anyway, I just wanted to give you your props and let you know what a pleasure it is to read your blog! Theresa

  2. Hey Theresa,

    Thank you so much for the support and your interesting perspective! I started this blog in part, to meet people like you. Exposing a broader spectrum of jazz enthusiasts and presenters (and the ensuing dialogues that follow in between) is imperative to our culture, and really gratifying! I love the story about your dad and brother. Your television program sounds really exciting! Many thanks again, and I hope you’ll visit and share as much as you like!


    • Hi, Angelika –

      I knew your father, Oliver. We played together in the late 70s. He was a beautiful soul and a soulful, inventive player.

      For some reason, he just popped into my head this evening and when I did a search for him on the web I found you!

      I know he would be very proud of you.
      Happy new year!


  3. Hi Angelika Beener, good day my fellow jazz enthusiast. First of all, thank you for displaying your gift and talent via hard work, character and integrity on this site. I’m elated to become acquainted with your BLOG, according to the content here I’ll definitely return with and occasional comment if you don’t mine. Bless you for your broader perspective about music.

    Peace, Rob

  4. Angelika, You are doing a wonderful job here. Keep it up. So many of the “jazz experts” that I have known in my life looked (and look) like you and me, so I don’t consider you to be an “improbable aficianado.”

    Thanks so much for your excellent blog.

    Karen D. Taylor

  5. Angelika! I am ecstatic to have discovered your blog! I happened across it while searching Ambrose (incredible interview by the way!). Your site has been quickly bookmarked, “liked”, and shared ; ) Keep up the great work! Yours in jazz,

    Jamie Breiwick

  6. Hi Angelika!
    Thank you so much for creating this blog! It makes me so happy to see that there is a website where I can read about jazz and find music that I haven’t discovered yet. Like you, I am extremely young (17 years young!) and jazz has just turned my entire life around in a short period of time. I also struggle with having to be a young female in high school with people wondering what that loud noise is while I’m blasting Coltrane on an ipod..I embrace those strange looks! (I’ve been in a Coltrane slump for about a year now…help!) It’s extremely hard to connect with the people in my age group, but whatever. That’s why I love having this blog to refer to! But thank you for doing what you’re doing and PLEASE keep it up 🙂

    • Hi alatham!

      Thank you for taking the time to write, it is genuinely joyful to read about your experiences…mainly because it sounds like exactly where I was at your age! I went to a performing arts high school, so those funny looks were a bit lessened, but when I went home, I was certainly the odd one with posters of John Coltrane on my wall, while my friends had Jodeci and Boyz II Men on their walls! Don’t get me wrong, I loved all music of my generation and certainly embraced the pop culture of my generation but jazz music has always spoken to me most personally, which was different for some folks to understand. Just keep being you! You have been blessed with a TREMENDOUS gift in a rich exposure to jazz…and it will take you far! Some will get it, some won’t, and some may not get it, but they’ll respect your interests. Either way, the music will always embrace you! And not to worry, I have no plans of stopping, so you’ll have a place to go for a long time 🙂

      Your friend in jazz,


Leave a Reply to Angelika Beener Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s