My Jazz Story
I was first exposed to jazz through cartoons like Peanuts, Tom and Jerry and obscure jazz-themed cartoons. Growing up in the 60's, there were also several television shows that featured jazz as the theme and as background music. As a kid, I had no idea I was listening to jazz, but I would always sing or hum the tunes I heard. I also grew up in a large family and the range of genres was vast. Jazz was a favorite of a couple of my older siblings and I was exposed to artists like Herbie Hancock, George Duke and Stanley Clarke, and Miles Davis. My grandmother also had a boarder who would allow me to play his records on his phonograph and his collection included Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and several big band artists. I would play those records over and over. The music always resonated with me and I would find myself humming those tunes as I matured into a young adult. Of course, I thought my preference was pop tunes of the times and that was the music I purchased, but jazz never left me and some of the tunes would just pop into my head. Once I became an adult and was formerly introduced to jazz, a wave of memories washed over me and it became my genre of choice.