Grammy Award-winning bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding recently told the Los Angeles Times that one of the problems in bringing jazz to a wider audience was essentially one of image.

Unlike with pop music, where Auto-Tune can airbrush out any vocal shortcomings and computers can tweak instrumental performances, jazz artists spend many years learning their craft, and many don't peak artistically until they are well into their 30s or 40s. And therein lies the problem, suggested Spalding.

"It takes decades to get the music to a place where it's worth sharing," she said. "The beauty of this craft is, it shouldn't be about who's prettiest or fastest or strongest or has the coolest clothes. Those are all details that can be sprinkled on top. But we're in a culture that is obsessed with youth and women and body types and looking cool and hip and selling clothes and products. And the basic tenets of the music don't align themselves very well with those requirements."