Jazz Music Still Matters

Jazz Music
Louis Armstrong

Now about that jazz music…It’s funny. Whenever someone asks me what I sing, I tell them pop-jazz, with emphasis on pop. Why? Because I want to be liked and most people do not like jazz, or what they think of as jazz. That’s okay. I once heard only 20% of the U.S. population is going to have some interest in jazz music. Could it be because it’s complex? Probably. Americans like their things simple, easy, fast, and repetitive. You know that.

Today, April 30th, is International Jazz Day. As far as I know, it’s the first time it’s being celebrated like this; back in 2011, during the UNESCO General Conference, the international community decided to make April 30th “International Jazz Day.” World leaders want to use jazz music to do some lofty things: promote peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, respect for human rights and dignity, eradicate discrimination, promote freedom of expression, foster gender equality, and reinforce the role of youth for social change. Hmmm…

It’s interesting to think that some 70 years ago, jazz music was the popular music of its day– it’s what the kids danced to…and now the current hit music is hip-hop.

Jazz is like your polite, conservative Uncle Miles in a suit opening a door for your grandma, while hip-hop is your cousin Pee Wee who drinks a lot of beer, smokes blunts and hooks up with different girls on a regular basis. Today’s youth would rather listen to what Pee Wee has to say than Uncle Miles.

The best line I’ve ever heard about music is this: pop is 3 chords for 10,000 fans; jazz is 10,000 chords for 3 fans. Ha! So true.

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Jazz music is often ignored or misunderstood. It requires a little more from listeners than average pop music that’s pretty much the same old chords with a very basic structure and a nursery rhyme feel.

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