All About Jazz

Home » Jazz Stories | About The Jazz Story Project

Jazz Stories

Share your jazz story with your fellow readers! Once logged in, click the blue "Update Page" button on your member page, then scroll down to the "Share your story" box. Enter and save.

    View Kurt Brunus's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because I can express myself when I'm playing.

    I was first exposed to jazz as a kid growing up listening to my mother, Cynthia Bland, sing and practice with her band.

    The first jazz records my mother bought for me at 8 years old was Freddie Hubbard and Chuck Mangione.

    Published on: 2018-07-02
    View Ulla C. Binder's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it's all about catching the moment. Right here, right now.
    I was first exposed to jazz, when I was 8 years old. Visiting jazz concerts with my father.

    Published on: 2018-06-29
    View Vince Hakim's All About Jazz profile

    I was first exposed to jazz as a child when my father would play records by Jimmy Smith, Cal Tjader, Eddie Harris, etc. I decided I wanted to play bass after
    hearing a James Brown tune and asking my dad, "What is that instrument that's playing all of those low notes?"' Once he told me that was an electric bass, I knew
    that I had found my calling. I taught myself to play bass by listening to the great funk bass players of the '70s. I got into jazz through fusion when I first heard
    Stanley Clarke's "Journey to Love" and awestruck by his dexterity and creative fire. In college, I discovered Jaco Pastorius and that was it. From there, I reverse
    engineered jazz fusion and dug back to the roots and fell in love with the great composers; Duke, Monk, Bird, Miles, Trane, Jobim, etc. Today I play all styles, from
    rock to bop and everything in between including world music and electronica.

    Published on: 2018-06-27
    View Reggie Watkins's All About Jazz profile

    I met Jimmy Knepper after playing with Maynard Ferguson in 2002 in Wheeling West Virginia. I could never have known what the
    future had in store during the moments we spent together.

    Published on: 2018-06-26
    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 listen, 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 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