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WHAT IS JAZZ?

Jazz House Kids: The House that Jazz Built

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When we think of jazz education, we might first think about what's developed at the college level and at music conservatories over the last fifty years or so, and then maybe consider how jazz instruction and jazz bands have flourished at the high school and middle school levels a little more recently. But beyond these settings, jazz education has advanced thanks to a select number of other, smaller, independent organizations that have had a strong impact on their local communities. ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Jazz Stories: 2017

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All About Jazz--a longstanding internet destination for all things jazz--is a community bound by its love of the music. Since March 2016, we've solicited jazz stories from our members asking them to answer any of a handful of questions and we wanted to recognize some of our submissions from 2017. New stories arrive daily and we've gathered over thousands to date--well over EIGHT years of jazz stories! Inspired, touching, funny, helpful (to newbies) or simply providing ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Craft Beer and Jazz

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As I type these words, I'm sitting here sipping on an Apricot Peach Orange Whip Mimosa Gose while listening to Derek Bailey's Improvisation LP. If you aren't aware of Bailey's work, he was a British guitarist who championed the European “free" style. All improv, all the time-with no structure to speak of. Many have argued that Bailey and his angular screech and skronk have no place in anything labeled jazz, or even music for that matter. Purists. Apricot ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

BAN BAM: Talking Music

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Regular goers to jazz/improvised music gigs and festivals might have clocked the fact that those on stage tend to be predominantly male--a mirror, more often than not, of the make-up of the audience. Women instrumentalists are the exception rather than the norm. Though what exactly, we should perhaps ask ourselves when it comes to music and gender, is normal? This, and many other questions related to the gender imbalance in jazz/improvised music, are put under the microscope at ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Jazz, Suffering, and Meaning

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"Primary progressive aphasia" was a disease I had not heard until March of 2014. Now it is darkly stained into my life, since it is the form of dementia that afflicts my wife, Rebecca Merrill Groothuis. As Rebecca and I walk down this road, we are not alone. We have our church, our friends, and our God to walk with us and help carry our load. One of God's gifts to me is jazz, which helps me stumble on without ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Penang House Of Music: Shining Light On Penang's Jazz/Indigenous Music Heritage

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In the heart of downtown Georgetown, Penang, on the top floor of KOMTAR, a typically bustling Malaysian shopping mall, an oasis of calm can be found in Penang House of Music. Calm, but stimulating too, for PHOM is a museum-cum archive celebrating Penang's rich and varied musical heritage, including the island's long-standing, ever-evolving relationship with jazz. “Something like PHOM has never existed before now in Malaysia, or in this part of the world," says Paul Augustin, co-founder of ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

The Many Faces of Jazz Today: The Big Picture

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Five All About Jazz interviews provided source information for this article. To access them, click on the following links: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 [In a series of five interviews entitled “The Many Faces of Jazz: Critical Dialogues," All About Jazz asked three musicians, a public relations manager, and a jazz educator about the state of jazz in the world today. The one ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Jazz and Philosophy

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Philosophy warms to jazz, but not as much, perhaps, to rock or blues. We can talk through the night about rock and blues, and it may be fun. But just how philosophical can we get about rock and blues--even with the help of a few smart friends and a few adult beverages? Rock is the rambunctious and electrified child that came out of the blues, and the blues are a way to make pain bearable and even enjoyable, once the ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

In Praise of Young Jazz Musicians

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I hear a lot about this entitled generation of kids. The lazy buggers don't woodshed for 12 hours a day learning Charlie Parker solos like we did. They don't give a hoot about blowing Cherokee in 12 keys. And yet, those lazy buggers seem to be filling the halls of Berklee, North Texas State and a hundred other jazz programs. Are they walking down the halls of NEC listening to Kanye West and Beyonce? Probably, but Bird and ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Tokyo Jazz Joints: Capturing An Old Love Story

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Click the Slideshow button above to view the photos. Could you imagine coffee shops in any North American or European city that played jazz non-stop all day, or bars where, variously, as you quenched your thirst, you heard only Blue Note Records, free-jazz or the music of, say, Miles Davis, according to the bar owner's tastes? Could you imagine such places where speaking is not only frowned upon but is actually banned in reverence to the music? Probably ...