Sunday, May 4, 2014

Reasons why I love jazz: part 2

This past week, on April 30th, the world celebrated International Jazz Day.

With so many festivities, I wanted to take some time to reflect on why I love jazz.

I was inspired to make this blog from this video: Celebrate International Jazz Day

Reasons why I love jazz: part 2

1. I love jazz because jazz is a conversation

You can say we improvise conversations- we don't plan them out- and just like conversations there is a dialogue. I think it is amazing how I could just meet someone and hardly know anything about them, but I can play jazz with them and have this deep conversation. People that are shy become extraverted, and people that are private start to share with you. There is expression, and this dialogue could be as simple as a horn playing a rhythmic phrase and a drummer hitting his cymbal in response.

Here is an article explaining how the brain interprets jazz in a similar way to language. 

2. Jazz is a family: 
I would say I came to like jazz because the sound of the music, but I came to love jazz because of the people. With jazz, I have met so many amazing people that have not only taught me about the music, but about life. So many people within jazz are kind, caring, giving, passionate, dedicated, intelligent, and helpful. I love the fact that no matter where you are from or who you are, if you dig jazz, the jazz community will accept you. 

3. Jazz is social: 
I love jazz because it is an extremely social music, not only to play, but to listen to. When you go to a jazz concert, you are encouraged to clap, snap, dance, hoot, shout, etc.- the audience's energy contributes to the performance. If you like something, you can express it. 
While playing jazz, you learn not to just play something for the sake of playing or for showing off your technique- but to play something that sparks the rest of the band and the audience. A simple idea that gets repeated could cause the rest of the band to interact, and respond to what you said. 

4. Jazz is fearless

In this video Dee Dee Bridgewater says that when you listen to jazz you will feel like you can go out and there are no problems that are too difficult for you to solve- and I connect with this to a t. Jazz is a fearless kind of music, and by playing jazz I have learned to take more risks and become more comfortable with being myself. When I have a bad day, I can listen to jazz and know that yes, today has been rough, but I am strong enough, and brave enough to make the best out of it. 

5. Jazz is honest: 
Many people have said jazz is a music of freedom, of the people. And with that freedom comes honesty, authenticity, and individuality. Jazz can express a wide range of emotions. You can listen to the saddest ballad, the most jubilant up tempo tune, the most contemplative slow blues- and they all express honest emotions from humans in the moment. Each moment is special and holds its own feelings- jazz expresses the now

I think John Coltrane's version of "Body and Soul" expresses what I mean:

Final Thoughts: 
There are a million reasons why I love jazz but I'll say this- Some days seem impossible to get through, and some situations seem too hard to bare- but by finding and embracing jazz I have learned that I do have enough strength to make it through anything. 

Share in the comments reasons why you love jazz! 

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