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    View Paul Combs's All About Jazz profile

    Jazz has been apart of my life from infancy. My earliest jazz memories are listening to musicians like Nat Cole and Ella Fitzgerald coming over the radio while still in the crib. My mother would sing
    along, which helped to get this music in my ears. I remember the newspaper headlines when Bird died - I was in third grade. At 13 I switched from trombone to saxophone after hearing James Moody
    on the radio. I started playing professionally at 16, and although it has often been hard to keep going I ma still here all these many years later. In my darkest days jazz saved my life, and it continues
    to inspire me to reach ever higher.

    Published on: 2018-06-22
    View Rod Harris Jr.'s All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it is the most spiritual
    expressive music on the planet!

    I was first exposed to jazz in High School.

    The best show I ever attended was the 2001
    Atlanta Jazz Festival.

    The first jazz record I bought was Wes
    Montgomery's "So Much Guitar."

    My advice to new listeners: Keep listening. The
    more you listening the more you hear.

    Published on: 2018-06-21
    View Michele Peraino's All About Jazz profile

    I have loved jazz since I was a little girl watching old movies, and seeing some of the greatest performers. My family did not listen to it on the radio or the car. It
    was something that I had to go out of my way for.

    I have met many jazz, swing, blues, and rock musicians. Each holds a special place in my heart. I don’t have a best show moment, not because I haven’t had one,
    instead because I have had too many to count. When you love music, you search it out. The first jazz record I bought was a Nina Simone cassette tape after
    purchasing a cassette tape player at 17.

    My advice to new listeners is jazz is not one style, otherwise it wouldn’t be called jazz. Be open. My favorite jazz era was between the mid '30s to '60s, and it is the
    reason my husband, Chris Peraino, and I started our band ‘Swing That Cat!’ When I write a new song, I have no choice other than to write and hear melodies in the
    style of that time frame. It is embedded in my soul.

    Published on: 2018-06-20
    View Mick Ricereto's All About Jazz profile

    The best show I ever attended was the Zawinul Syndicate at the Blue Note in 1997. Being the youngest kids in the room, the host put us right in front of the band. The afro-beat electric set blew the roof off the building, an unforgettable sound. After, my girlfriend and I just sauntered up the stairs to the green room to meet the
    band. I posed for a picture with Joe, after talking a little bit about boxing and how to stay healthy while the other guys in the band tore through a bucket of fried
    chicken. Brilliant!

    Published on: 2018-06-16
    View Susan Hodgdon's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it has such a freedom of expression.

    I was first exposed to jazz in NYC.

    The best show I ever attended was actually a lot of great shows at Birdland, NYC.

    The first jazz record I bought was by Nina Simone.

    My advice to new listeners spread the word of jazz!

    Published on: 2018-06-14
    View Remco Lamberts's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it knows no boundaries.

    I was first exposed to jazz (and popular music) when I studied playing piano at a local community school of music, and and loved learning new styles and enjoy all types of music, not sticking or limiting to genre boxes. Inspired by my teachers (one of having having a great career in Dutch Jazz Fusion). I then started playing keys in bands and my own groups, experimenting excessively, mixing all styles, but heavily influenced by contemporary jazz-rock fusion.

    The best show I ever attended was a concert in Amsterdam (at a time they offered an alternative to the famous NSJF in The Hague) in 1988, the Bob Berg and Mike Stern Band featuring Dennis Chambers on drums, really mind blowing (life changing possibly?). Before and after there actually have been many very rewarding and memorable live concerts, but this one keeps on my mind.

    The first jazz record I bought was...I will actually look that up ;-)

    My advice to new listeners is be open-minded, and just have fun exploring!

    Published on: 2018-06-12
    View John Kelman's All About Jazz profile

    Thanks to a terrific guitar teacher from the ages of 10-16, I was introduced to a broad range of music at an early age, from Miles Davis to Johnny Winter, from Weather Report to Wes Montgomery, and from Larry Coryell to Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee.

    Playing on the road for a couple years, in my late teens, may have taught me that the road was not for me, but it also cemented that music was and remains a passion--a priority in my life, no matter what else is taking place--and that while my musical tastes run as broad as that guitar teacher's (maybe even broader), jazz and improvised music remain what interest me the most.

    A mid-life change to writing about jazz and, ultimately, becoming Managing Editor for All About Jazz, the internet's largest jazz site, and seeing the world one festival at a time--from Svalbard to South Africa, from Molde to Malaysia, and from Montreal to Mannheim--have taught me that opportunities are always there for the taking. Personal interests in labels like ECM, and artists like Bill Frisell, John Scofield and Joe Locke have led to professional affiliations and projects ranging from liner notes and CD photos to press sheets and public speaking. You just have to be prepared to meet people, sus out those opportunities, and grab them.

    I am fortunate to be able to give something back to many of the musicians who have meant so much to me throughout my life. And it IS good fortune - something I never, ever forget - to be able to do what I do and, through my writing, provide (hopefully!) something that helps spread the good word about musicians ranging from well-established to up-and-coming.

    And also I never forget that writing for All About Jazz has led to so many of the opportunities I've received in the 12 years since I hooked up with the website at the beginning of 2004. While I know the website benefits from my work, I think it's important to acknowledge that it's a two-way street, and that as much as I give to All About Jazz, All About Jazz provides back to me...in spades!

    Published on: 2018-06-10
    View Daniel Graham's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it is many things to many people all at the one time--sophisticated, plain-speaking, intellectual, emotional, raucous, refined, conservative, avant-garde.

    I was first exposed to jazz when I listened to my father's Prestige records featuring artists like Miles Davis, Eric Dolphy, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus and Sonny Rollins.

    I met Henry Grimes in Haarlem (The Netherlands) in 2005 and have been inspired by his life and music since.

    The best show I ever attended was Andrew Hill, piano solo, Brisbane, 1994.

    The first jazz record I bought was Charles Mingus Live In Antibes 1960 with Bud Powell.

    My advice to new listeners...start with Bebop and progress from there, you'll likely catch everyone after this (and before)

    Published on: 2018-06-08
    View Jared Sims's All About Jazz profile

    My advice to new listeners is to find the style of jazz that you will enjoy.

    Published on: 2018-06-07
    View Bert Harris's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it is in my blood, it's my history, it makes me feel great to play it, hear it, and I know it makes the planet a better place to live.

    I was first exposed to jazz by a college friend.

    Byard Lancaster was my gateway to seriously studying and playing jazz.

    The best show I ever attended was Abdullah Ibrahim.

    The first jazz record I bought was Bitches Brew.

    My advice to new listeners... open your ears and heart.

    Published on: 2018-06-05
    View Natalia Mann's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it makes me feel good. I love all kinds of jazz, and all kinds of music for
    that matter. I think of music as a source, like water, which flows into all kinds of rivers and
    streams.

    For me, the essence of jazz is improvisation, and I learned how to improvise in a dream. In
    the dream, instead of playing harp, I was using a piece of paper, styrofoam and a broken
    piano. The message: Music can be expressed with anything. Alongside that, I like culture,
    spirit, experimentation and beauty--go exploring with love and an open mind.

    Published on: 2018-06-04
    View Rocky Yera's All About Jazz profile

    I love Jazz because it can often reveal the deepest feelings of a person. I first began playing the saxophone at age twelve. Since the beginning, I felt that playing music offered the opportunity to express oneself in ways not possible
    otherwise. During my teenage years I studied jazz by transcribing solos of my favorite artists, aspiring to become a professional jazz musician. I grew up playing in churches, performing at a different church every week with the Miami
    District Youth Band, led by multi-Grammy winning producer Richard Aspinwall. That group helped shape the person I am today, both musically and spiritually. During that period of my life I heard the music of Jeff Coffin. I was
    particularly drawn to his use of guitar effects pedals with his saxophone. From the first time I heard Jeff's music, I was determined to study and explore the electronic effects world as an additional musical palette. I began exploring
    these sounds with the help of Richard Aspinwall and I have continued practicing and developing them along with my jazz saxophone playing. I love composing and arranging tunes that highlight the different sounds possible when I
    pair my saxophone with the effects pedals and I feel that it allows me greater expression and can take the listener to different places. I had the opportunity to record some of these sounds on my debut album “Just Practice”. I am
    honored to have Jeff Coffin featured on one of the tracks.

    Published on: 2018-06-03
    View Neni Carolina Chacin's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because I grew up listening to vocal jazz played by my parents.

    I was first exposed to jazz as a child growing up in the '70s with Sesame Street and my mom's
    Nat King Cole albums.

    I met Harry Connick Jr. at a concert and master class, sang with Natalie
    Cole with my gospel choir and met Diana Krall when I moved to
    Boston. It was clear to me that this vocal style was my style. I started learning
    their technique and mingling with all the Berklee College music students in the
    '90s.

    The best show I ever attended was oddly enough George Michael; the quality of
    his voice, the back vocals, the visual effects and the band was amazing.

    The first jazz records I bought were Harry Connick Jr's We Are In Love, Natalie Cole's
    Unforgettable and Diana Krall Grammy winner, All for You: A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio.

    My advice to new listeners is find what makes you groove or feel inspired and want more of the same. Buy a compilation of jazz music.
    Now from Paris, I appreciate the jazz era even more as people in France live in a constant era of romantic jazz.

    Published on: 2018-06-01
    View AL McKenzie's All About Jazz profile

    The first jazz record I bought was Chick Corea's "Light As A Feather."

    Published on: 2018-05-31