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Music runs in my family for a long time. It was almost forced upon my brother and I to play a musical instrument. Saxophone was the instrument for me, while my brother played the piano and the flute. We were first exposed to Classical music, much like most young musicians. We grew up just playing our instruments with no idea about what we would ever do with them. All we did was play them and practice, but we did not practice by choice.
After years of just playing written music and playing major scales, I found something else. My brother happened to come home and turned on the local jazz radio station. At first, my reaction was very negative. Listening to jazz was just listening to some noise for me. I would constantly tell my brother to turn that off. We began to argue over the music.
One magical day, I decided to open up my ears and take a close listen. I started to like what I was hearing, and started to listen to it more and more. The sounds of Bird, Miles, and Trane gradually started to fill the house. Music that I once thought was just noise started to become my passion. 2 and 4 were constantly stuck in my head. From then on I was hooked.
Playing in the school jazz band became something more serious than playing in it just for fun. This was my chance to learn how to play the music. Playing my horn became something more enjoyable rather than a boring routine. Jazz made playing my instrument more fun.
All this is still true a year and a half later. Listening, playing, and going to jazz shows are much more than just hobbies now, but a way of life for me. Jazz is an art that is still alive amongst us young people. Although it is not the art that most young people seem to favor it is still alive, and there are students like myself studying it. We need to cherish the music and keep it alive.
I love jazz because it is a pure American music and can be expressed in different ways depending upon the artist.
I was first exposed to jazz while as a teenager I listened to Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong, on a jazz
radio station in New York City.