Archives for April 2015

Musings In Cb: “6 Things You Can Do To Appreciate Jazz”

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1. RECOGNIZE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE GREATS OF JAZZ HISTORY

Understanding the significance of defining artists like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker as being fundamental to the essence of the music, is vital to getting what jazz is about. 

With the advent of such platforms as YouTube, Spotify and Pandora, you don’t even have to buy recordings to listen to the originators perform their work. 

The Internet allows access to accurate biographic and career information as well. 

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2. RECOGNIZE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE GREATS LIVING TODAY

So often we fail to appreciate the living legends among us who are still making the music AND are at the height of their creative powers. 

Whenever you have the opportunity to see and hear artists like Bobby Watson, Ray Drummond, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Wynton Marsalis, George Cables, Rufus Reid, Buster Williams, Roy Haynes, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, John Abercrombie, Jack DeJonette, Keith Jarrett, etc… 

DO IT!


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3. RECOGNIZE THAT HEARING JAZZ MUSIC AT LOCAL VENUES IS VITAL

With the myriad of technological devices that are readily available to supply various forms of entertainment in our times, it is often easier to sit at home and watch our large display televisions, listen to music on our home audio systems, or simply look things up on our smart phones.

Yes, it has been a hard day or week.  And, all you want to do is go home, change in to your comfortable clothes, and chill in your own space.  But, listening to or watching jazz remotely, is comparable to walking through life in only two dimensions.  

Go listen to a local jazz concert once a month. That’s only 12 concerts each year. Go listen to one set of a show, if you are crazy busy. You will likely be surprised by the positive impact such action will have globally, if all of us who portend to love this music, just show up on our respective local scenes!

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4. RESPECT THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF THE JAZZ TREE

Jazz music has been around for more than 100 years now.  There have been many variations of growth during the first century of the art. Jazz influences and is influenced by most all aspects of society and culture. We can safely assume the position that Jazz is a worldwide music and art form now.

There are many paths to finding one’s voice in the music as an artist. There are also many variables as to which styles one prefers to listen to or perform. Often as with life, the more Jazz music a person is exposed to, the more varied that person’s tastes in the music become.  A person who is introduced to jazz through its groove may eventually also be drawn to styles within the genre that emphasize complex harmonic structures as well.

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5. BRING A FRIEND TO LISTEN TO THE MUSIC

Introduce a friend to Jazz.  Take them with you to a live performance.  Heck, make an evening out of it. Go to dinner at  a favorite eatery, then check out the music.  Possibilities for a great time are endless.

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6. SUPPORT MUSIC EDUCATION AND MUSIC IN SCHOOLS

Instrumental music education programs are vital to the perpetuation and continuum of Jazz music.  The level of engagement requires several years of being made aware of the fundamentals involved to create the music.  Public school music programs are vital to this type of introduction.  The advent of Charter Schools and private community based programs are all good.  But, most children will access instrumental music through public schools. Tell your school board that you want band to remain a vital part of the core curriculum. 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLD92w1CqME?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&origin=https://safe.txmblr.com&wmode=opaque&w=540&h=404]

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Peace, Cb

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Selmer (Paris) Saxophone Artist; Marketing and Communications Manager at American Jazz Museum; Professional Jazz Recording Artist; Composer; Educator; Entrepreneur; and, Businessman