For jazz lovers, jazz musicians and jazz musician lovers, April 30 was declared “The international jazz day.“
Jazz music has been bringing people together in harmony for more than a century, starting with the “Blue Note” that served as a relief from slavery, pain and grief, sung and played by the workers brought from Africa to work in America and Europe as slaves. What was better than music to release the soul?
A great Classic jazz piece by the Great Saxophonist John Coltrane (1961)
Jazz music still serves its purpose by bringing people together. While most have forgotten its origins and the true meaning of freedom in jazz music, it is still popularly celebrated, played and heard by a large portion of the world’s population.
Ragtime, Bebop, Swing, Blues, Afro, Funk, Latin and Soul are just some of the names that jazz music has evolved and sub-categorized into over the generations. We come not even one step closer to knowing what jazz music really is, well lets just say that jazz music is any music that can not be properly categorized, played in odd times and loaded with improvisations, and sounds good.
Jazz taking new shapes through Miles Davis
Though jazz music can not be properly identified, playing it has its rules, and listening to it has its feels, in a jazz music sheet the most significant bar is the empty bar where nothing is written, but a lot is played by the musician, and that introduces the most famous element in jazz which is improvisation. Jazz music has only become famous after slaves rose above slavery and slavery was no longer in the western culture and only then the African Americans freed who gained their freedom has started to have the right to have their own jobs.where a big portion went working in pubs and casinos in the entertaining business, and every night after everyone is gone and the chairs were empty those entertainers and musicians would come together with no prior preparation and lay down what may some would think “the best music they have heard”. And that was the beginning of Jazz music as an official genre, all based on the ability to improvise, carrying the meaning to present freedom through music and the ability to improvise by the feeling.
(Herbie Hancock with “ Watermelon Man,” Observe Improvisation live on stage)
Since around the 1860s, the Jazz music scene was built by musicians who are now immortalized due to their massive contribution in laying a practical, theoretical and a historical foundation to jazz music. Musicians who have conquered the world, and they are not only remembered on international jazz day, but every day where jazz music is being played.
Below is a list of a very few of many that forever influenced jazz music:
– Edward Kennedy (1899“1974) a.k.a Duke Ellington, a.k.a The Duke, who composed more than 1000 jazz pieces, also famous for being America’s greatest composer (Pianist).
– Louis Armstrong (1901“1971) a.k.a. Satchel-mouth, one of the most influential trumpeters and vocalists of all jazz’s life time.
– Benny Goodman (1909“1986) a.k.a the King of swing music.
– Charlie Parker (1920-1955) a.k.a The Yardbird, the Saxophonist that all saxophonists look up to.
– Miles Davis (1926-1991), The trumpeter and the nominated creator of Contemporary Jazz.
– Buddy Rich (1917 -1987), once known as “The World’s Greatest Drummer,” famous for his speed, power and playing with big bands.
– Herbie Hanock (1940-Present), A.K.A The Ambassador, Master of the Head Hunters and one of the best jazz pianists, composers and band leader alive today.
The list goes on and on, as every name is a piece of the puzzle that is jazz music.And so, Jazz of the past and the present shall be internationally celebrated annually on April 30 by some and every single day by others. For Jazz music is a story with infinite chapters and an unpredictable journey, translated into all languages.
The International Jazz Day Full Concert Presented By The Genius Herbie Hancock on April 30th 2013 in Istanbul,Turkey:
Image credit: Jazzday.com