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Joe Harrison

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because its speaks to my soul. It is the music of my people. As a child I was surrounded by African American music. Sometimes it was my mother singing church songs while washing clothes or maybe my dad playing James Brown in the car. Jazz for me was just another form of the Black music that was in and around Philadelphia. I could feel the relationship between the Gospel music from church, the R&B at home and on the radio, the blues music that my neighbors played and jazz. Later, I was exposed to the pulse African drumming. Those African rhythms are the connection and the foundation for of all of these forms of music. For me jazz incorporates all of these. There is a spirit in the music. This is what keeps jazz alive for me.