What do you think keeps jazz alive and thriving? Jazz gets into your soul. It makes you tap your foot. It simply feels good and makes you happy. I would like to see more done to expose young people at the elementary and middle school level to jazz. A few may learn to play and carry on the tradition, but many could be exposed to it and learn how fun jazz is. Creative approaches are needed. For example, a local puppeteer carried out a project for the Charlie Parker Celebration a couple years ago. He wrote and told a story with his life size puppets about Charlie Parker and some of the history of Kansas City jazz. Children were invited to performances at the GEM Theatre at 18th and Vine. It was well received by the kids, and performed later at local schools. I would like to see other creative programs carried out in KC and the rest of the country.
Finish this sentence: Life without music would be...
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.