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What's the best way to introduce someone to Jazz?

AAJ Staff By

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Date: 19-May-1998 20:05:20
From: Alex Brown ( )
I was first really introduced to jazz by my aunt and my guitar teacher, Doug Allen. He has greatly influenced both as a musician and a lover of music. You see, I am a really big fan of Phish and they play with the Giant Country Horns every now and then. Well, one day I was listening to Phish play Take the A-Train with the Giant Country Horns and I was instantly blown away. I told my teacher how great it was and he put on John Coltrane's Live at Birdland. I was shocked and ever since then, I have been into all types of jazz ever since. My favorites would have to be Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Stanley Jordan, John Scofield, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker though. They all have really changed the definition of jazz as well as so many other greats.

I am very lucky to have jazz so close to me as well. Laurel Masse is my aunt, a former member of the Manhatten Transfer. Lucky me!

Jazz WILL never die and for all those people out there who don't even realize jazz is still around, you guys don't know the gift you are missing!

Date: 19-May-1998 20:14:08
From: Alex Brown ( )
Oh, just to let you guys know, I am only fifteen and I am a bigger jazz fan then most people I come across. The way to spread jazz is to let the kids know about it. It is obviously not that they "just don't like it." The problem is that thay are not being exposed to it. Expose it!

Date: 21-May-1998 11:24:31
From: Tony Lenz ( )
In my opinion the best way to introduce someone to jazz is to provide them with a musical setting that includes melodies that are familiar to them providing the basis for improvisation, and nothing too busy or up tempo to start with-sax ballads are great.

Date: 21-May-1998 18:23:19
From: Theresa ( )
Living in New Orleans has its advantages. Live jazz 24/7 and our options are endless from traditional to dixie land to contemporary to fusion to funk.

I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to listen to live performances by the late great jazz giants Danny Barker and Doc Cheatham and those who are still with us; Terence Blanchard, Ellsi Marsalis, Neena Freelon, Mark Whitfield, Tuba Fats, Germaine Bazzle, because it is through their performances that I am able to feel a part of their dynamics. It is kindda a call-n-reponse from the artist to the audience which is appeals to the senses, moreso than a recording.

A great way to introduce someone to jazz is to take a trip to New Orleans. Here you can experience jazz in its most explosive forms—from a jazz session at Snug Harbor to jazz funeral on the streets of New Orleans where people break into a second-line. This is something worth exploring.

Date: 21-May-1998 22:36:08
From: Theresa ( )
Other less inexpensive ways, are:

(1) Documentaries. Often video stores have on hand movies or live recordings featuring some of the jazz greats; Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gilliespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, etc.

(2)Radio. Givne time, hear (literal) a variety of artists and tunes can be heard for a little of nothing. Most major cities have jazz stations or affiliates. Write down the songs you like and check out the c.d.

(3) Jazz Festivals. They are all over, foreign and domestic. And, if you are in my town check out the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. It's one of my favorites!!!

(4) Public schools & college campuses. Often musicians do workshops and/or concerts.

(5)In-store concerts. Competition brings out the best. Some Seek and find your local music stores that invite musicians of all genres to come in and promote their latest recordings. This way one can sample tunes, style and attitudes.

(6) Hotels/Restaurants. Lobby lounge entertainment. Your cost is a drink. Upscale restaurants hire upscale musicians.

Date: 25-May-1998 20:49:06
From: Karen Angela Moore ( )
Getting the kids involved and listening has to be a priority for all of us! We've got to reach our next audience...we don't have that big of one now! I have several teenages in my life—family and friends—and I make sure that I take the time to watch "Jazz on a Summer's Day" Newport Jazz Festival with them. WOW! Even I'm blown away everytime. It's a wonderful gift and it zooms from Anita O-Day to Mahalia to Jimmy Giuffre and Monk. It covers a whole lot of styles and really is a great piece! Live jazz is the best—but it's sure not always available. First blush something melodic is usually the best—since it can give the listener something to humm later and hang on to. However—a friend's son—12 years old—is into metal and rap—and he just loves hard bop and fusion!


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