The Essence Of Jazz Music The essence of Jazz music is the ethereal atmosphere of the dimensional harmony created by kaleidoscope of chromatic tones. It is the pulsating back beat of syncopating African rhythms through the rumble of the drums, or soft sound of the brush to the snare. The music is an expression of melody from the depth of the soul conveyed as a gospel in many unique ways. These elements combined with the free impressionistic ambiance of instrumental tones in orchestration as a foundational juxtaposition of 7th, 9th,13th chordal harmony makes this style truly unique. The essence of Jazz music is music that is upbeat, full of pizzazz ,yet laid back with style. One would never guess that this free style of music has a foundation that began with Baroque elements found in Classical music. Classical music comes from the basic structure of homophony when two or more musical lines are played vertically in the same direction as sacred music. In fact, Jazz music is created with homophony in terms of the movement of chords to support the melodic improvisation. However, when it comes to playing intervals and chordal harmonies, Jazz is free from the restriction of classical form. For example, if a song is written in the key of C or a minor there are no sharps or flats written on the staffs. Many times in Jazz music Accidentals are put in the music to cause a tonal effect found in chromatic tones. Tonal effects can occur when one or more notes are altered by raising or lowering a pitch by one half step. Sharps are symbols in the shape of a number sign or tic tac toe board (#). Flats are symbols in the shape of a lower case B(b), yet shaped differently like half a heart. In some Jazz pieces, both the sharp and flat can occur simultaneously in a chord. The result of such musical experimentation can be Dissonant chords unresolved for the purpose of producing a certain sound. Depending on what tones are used the sound is either full of color, or full of tension. On the other hand, Consonance is a stable balance of harmonic tones without tension. One example of the essence of Jazz Music is the song "Route 66" with cluster of chords with dissonant tones that move from major to minor to diminished to create tonal color. The Tones in Jazz music is always about the speech rhythm and the chordal harmony full of color as influenced by music in the impressionism period. The essence of Jazz music serves as a personal interpretation of the picture the performer wants us to thinks about. The icing to the cake are the vocalists and instrumentalists who performs how they feel from the soul as the music beckons them to reply to it's statement. As the soloist plays or sings, the beauty of strong kaleidoscope tones in the harmony encourages one to soar especially in ballads. All of this can occur when the harmony plays in the right position above the correct bass tones found in all Jazz masterpieces. The true essence of Jazz music is present in its ability to shape the music through tones, the syncopation of speech rhythm, the chromatic harmony, improvisational solos, and constant motion of the bass. It is the free structure made from a balanced structure, and a music expressed from the soul. The Growth Of Jazz Music In the turn of the century around 1920, many artists made their mark by playing in the discreet underground nightclubs known as "Speakeasies" which are high class , "Blind pig" lower class or "Smokeasy" for smokers. The United States once prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages and smoking tobacco in clubs as a constitutional amendment. One could usually find an underground nightclub by the doors without a sign to indicate that there was such as establishment inside. Those dives also had a secret door that lead out to a passageway or alley in case the police came to investigate. The police had the power to arrest everyone in the place due to the fact that they were broke the law by being there. However, thing were beginning to look up for Jazz Music once the invention of the record player or phonograph was made to play jazz albums. In addition, radio stations helped promote Jazz music, and made it popular among the public. Jazz Music became a music of class that earned the era a nick name known as the "Jazz age". The band leaders who became famous as Jazz musicians were Paul Whiteman, Ted Lewis, Harry Reser, Leo Reisman, Abe Lyman, Nat Shilkret, Earl Burnett, Ben Bernie, George Olson, Bob Haring, Vincent Lopez, Ben Salvin and many more. Paul Whiteman claimed to be the king of Jazz music due to his popularity. He earned the title when he hired some white Jazz musicians with Bix Beiderbecke included to combine jazz with larger orchestrations. In fact George Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue' was commissioned by Whiteman as his debut for the orchestra. Ten years after Jazz music became popular it was reinvented into a style that would be suitable for radio and dancing. This style was known as "Swing" which allowed musicians to improvise their own interpretation of the melody or theme that was sometimes difficult to do. In the Swing era Jazz bands grew into a larger size which was often referred to as "Big Band" music that would always feature a soloist. The band leaders and music arrangers for Jazz music who became famous for this style of music was Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Earl Hines, Fletcher Henderson, Walter Page, Benny Goodman, Don Redman, Chick Webb, Jimmie Lunceford, and Jay McShann. During this time there were racial issues of segregation between black and white people, but it slowly died down enough for the white band leaders to find black musicians to perform with them. In the middle of the 1930's Benny Goodman invited Teddy Wilson(pianist), Lionel Hampton (vibraphonist), and Charlie Christian (guitarist) to be a part of a group. Each musician learned from the style of other musicians in order to form their own. For example, Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie(trumpeter), Bing Crosby (vocalist) were influenced by the improvising of Louis Armstrong. Later, the vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Sarah Vaughn joined the scene with Jazz Improvisation known as the scat. To Scat is to vocally imitate musical instruments using such non verbal language as doot 'n doo bee yah bah loo bey doo ee ya boy lay bah doo doot 'n doo yah doo doy. In the beginning of the 1940's Jazz music evolved yet again into a new style known as "Jump Music" which was upbeat music using blues chords performed by small music groups. These small music groups are the forms many bands make today. Later, another style of Jazz music came using the music of the 1930's as an inspiration called "Boogie-Woogie" where the usual 4 beat bar section expanded into an eight beat bar section in the rhythm which Big Joe Turner took the lead in the 1940's. In the 1950's, music reinvented again when turner turned to "Rock and Roll music". As for the Swing era music it was reborn in the use of the modern dance trends. Kansas City made memorial for Charlie Parker in their American Jazz Museum that displays the history of the music and the people who made Jazz music what it has become. The Many Styles Of Jazz Music The essence of the appeal of Jazz music has expanded and became reinvented from the use of elements found in African drumming, spiritual and hymn music, bluegrass hillbilly music, blues, impressionist, and classical traits to newer sounds. Jazz music became popular from radio and underground clubs that influenced other parts of the world. For instance, Europe's French Jazz scene created Gypsy Jazz and South America's Brazilian and Afro-Cuban Jazz sounds. Not only did make it's mark on the world, but it also found its way back to its roots through urban contemporary gospel music of percussion as well as brass instruments. Today the contemporary gospel music uses guitars, keyboard, piano, drums and brass instruments for their sound. One can usually tell during the ballads how Jazz chord harmonies are used in the keyboard and piano. The harmony in Barbershop music like Jazz came from the African American Black gospel church community which use close four part harmony without accompaniment. This particular style of music without accompaniment is known as A capella. The Mills Brothers were popular Jazz musicians who learned how this harmonization in the barbershop owned by their father. In many Jazz groups such as Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, Acoustix, Bara Vox, Beach Front, BR6 and more the harmonies are similar to that of barbershop. These harmonies are from the chromatic chordal harmony found in Jazz Music. The group Take 6 has expanded the traditional four part harmonies to six tones. Jazz Music did not stop there, but grew into an array of different styles that produce different aesthetic appeal. The aesthetic appeal can be found in how each part of the music makes one feel once heard. All the different elements from the lyrical content to the kaleidoscope of colorful harmony to the depth of the mood provides its own ambiance of sound. To give examples: On the extent to which Jazz has expanded are listed below as new expressions to the music. Vocalese -- From 1952 to 1962 Eddie Jefferson and Jon Hendricks made their mark by using their vocals as a substitute for the music instrument in the exact melody. Meaning, the voice imitated the exact solo of a saxophonist solo. It was not wide accepted until the musicians above made it popular. Cool Jazz- From the latter 1940's and 1950's a softer more gentle style of Jazz of both bop and swing with arranged harmonies that are present in Jazz ballads today. Hard Bop-From the middle of 1950's the church's spiritual and gospel roots of African style returned to the Jazz music which assisted in the making of Rhythm and Blues. One example of this music is Davis' work titled "Walkin". Mainstream- From the 1950's era, Jazz improvisation changed from single line melodic ornamentation to chordal which appeared again as a loose form of Jazz music in the later part of the 1970's and 1980's. This style was influenced by the cool, classical, and hard bop Jazz styles. Bebop-The dance elements gradually faded away into a true art of real music by the musicians Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Clifford Brown, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Stitt, and Ray Brown who wanted to steer away from the commercial type music. These musicians sought to use examples of the Jazz musicians of the past such as Lester young, Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines and Art Tatum to expand Jazz music to another level. At this time, Jazz music moved away from the basic melodic element of the piece to produce a more abstract chordal sound of dissonant tones, and chromatic patterns. The dissonant tones in Jazz music can be heard when two tones are played simultaneously in a clashing manner that can either sound strange or terrible depending on how the tones of the chord fit together as melody notes from a particular key. Clashing sounds can also occur from the use of lowered fifths and raised fourths. The chromatic sound of the music allows the musician to freely play each of the twelve tones of the instruments without restriction. Musicians were able to play substitute chords as well as altered chords that could change the key of the piece in a whim. The change in rhythm became more discreetly energetic in sound which is used predominantly in Jazz music today. For instance, the cymbal was hit in beat of a 1+a 2+ a 3 +a 4 +a while the snare and bass drum are suddenly hit without warning. Soul Jazz- From the late 1950's, a style of music that derived from gospel and soul using the tenor saxophone, repetition with melodic groove hooks, and less intricate improvisation that occurred over the chordal harmonies. The music from the popular radio artist of the time known as Ramsey Lewis wrote "The In Crowd" a hit in 1965. Souls Jazz music signature was powerful bass lines and changing tempo of the song. Modal- Bill Evans a pianist of this time made his mark in the making of new jazz music styles by using examples of major and minor medieval church modes which produced altered sounds between two notes. This music broke the rules by allowing the musicians to form new harmonies regardless of the key. Jazz Fusion- Between the 1960's and 1970's, Jazz music infused with rock to the horror of Jazz lovers. The sound of Jazz fusion is complicated chordal harmonies, and oddly mixed meters with syncopating rhythms. The instruments used is similar to the instruments used in today's bands such as the electronic guitar, electric bass guitar, electric piano and synthesizer. The musicians Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Tony Williams and Frank Zappa and many others performed this music. Smooth Jazz- From the 1970's and 1980's Jazz became a lighter pop style of fusion which begat muzak an electronic form of popular music on the radio. This music made popular by Kenny G., Najee and Grover Washington Jr. is played in many businesses to entertain customers. All About The Origins Of Jazz Music The essence of the sound of Jazz music is so versatile due to the origins from which it first began. In fact, New Orleans, Louisiana is the place where Jazz first began between 1850 and 1900 by African slaves as well as the freed people of color. The first style of Jazz music was known as Dixieland. In Africa from the Middle to Central to the West, one can hear the intricate rhythmic improvisation of the percussive instruments that is often heard with Jazz Music. These rhythms combined with the American Spirituals, Hymns, Blues, and the blue grass hillbilly musical sounds created a type of sound the originated in Jazz music. However, the music was just a peculiar sound without a particular title to call it fifteen years later in 1915. The great pianist Earl Hines born in 1903 played this type of music before the title Jazz became an official style of music. The word "Jazz" which was formerly spelled as "Jass" has it's origins as a type of American slang used to describe the sound of Jazz music. It is the sound of Jazz music that began as an offspring from the origins that created this music. In the beginning of the century the instruments used in Jazz music were European percussion, brass and woodwind instruments primarily for the military marching or dance bands. Moreover, these instruments were used in the funeral marches in the deeper party of the southern area and well as the northern. The essence of the origins of Jazz music finally became developed into it's own style with an original shape. In addition, origins of Jazz music expanded the style to the point where it cannot be defined as pure folk music even when some of its roots began there. Once the education system included the study of music to train musicians in a formal setting it paved the way for many to learn the techniques to create music from the heart. The importance of the origins of Jazz music is to learn all about the sound that many have fell in love with. Jazz music represents freedom to create color and sound that can be interpreted best by the performers and composers who create this style of music. The origins of Jazz music has been a subject worth debating over when it comes down to labeling it a particular style. Duke Ellington himself explained it as "It's all music" due to the fact that the music has no particular structure or form it has to take. Jazz music is not a simple style that can easily be defined except as free music that can easily meld into other styles of music to take it to another level. Jazz music itself is an innovation of African, Impressionist, Spiritual, Hymnal, Blues and Blue Grass hillbilly music simultaneously combined into a music masterpiece. The essence of the sound of Jazz music comes from the different musical elements from each part its origins as putting pieces of a puzzle together into one cohesive entity. Jazz Music Composition Jazz music composition is the work of knowledgeable musicians with the skills to write, and create one of the most memorable masterpieces. Moreover, Jazz music Composition is a course included in colleges and universities who deem it a worthy subject to study. Composing Jazz music requires the theory of constructing chords that are altered or substitute that would fit within the guidelines of composition. Meaning, experimentation is fine as long as you know how to fit in the musical shocks in the piece in a manner to not disrupt the flow. It is mandatory to keep the essence of Jazz music a part of you when creating, and keep all thoughts to restrict creativity out of your mind. The aim of Jazz music composition is to create what you feel about any subject into the sound of your musical work. To find your way into the making of Jazz music composition you should learn the skills of basic theory in ear training, notes on various instruments, key signatures, scales, chords, intervals, counterpoint, harmony, melody, music terminology, clefs, meters and time signatures, transposing of various instruments, and music reading. Listening to Jazz music from various artists will give you a feel for the type of composition you would like to create. You can begin with music arranging which is recreating an old song with new ideas. For instance, it has been done many times by professional musicians to use a public domain song, or ask permission to use a certain song. One example is Chaka Khan's " The End Of A Love Affair" written for Billie Holiday by Edward C. Redding in an arrangement that fit Chaka Khan. There are many versions of Jazz standards such as "They Can't Take That Away From Me" , "Misty", and "Stormy Weather" by different people who wanted to either keep the basic structure or interpret the song in their own special way. The basic rules to composing a Jazz Composition is to make a theme and arrange the music around it. Meaning, as in basic songwriting structure you will need a beginning, middle, bridge, and ending. The order is always up to the person(s )creating the music. You can begin with the themes most common in notated Jazz and Blues sheet music or fake book forms. In addition, use the basic theory structure you find on sheet music as a format, but use your own ideas. In arranging, you can examine the basic format, and embellish on areas you think needs it. The direction one can go in music arrangement is infinite according to the history of how each style of jazz music was created. When creating Jazz music composition one must remember the essential element present in all true Jazz music which is improvisation. Jazz Improvisation is not notated in any shape, way, or form. In fact, the improvisation in Jazz composition is invented by pure emotion of the musician moved by the accompaniment. Improvisation in Jazz composition can be in the beginning, the bridge and also at the end of the piece. Most commonly there is embellishment in the middle of the piece, but it all depends on the mood of the creator of the music. Once you learn the theory behind Jazz music composition, you can learn the shortcuts on creating. For example, lead sheets usually have the Jazz chord symbol above the melody below it as a basic structure to follow. When all is said and done, you will have created your own masterpiece as a gift to the world from your heart. Jazz: The Forbidden Music There was a time in history when Jazz the music was banned during World War II when it was considered a plight for freedom against Hitler's Nazi regime due to what it represents. Jazz music is the product of America that was creatively invented by African American from culture, and all the elements of the American life that influenced this style of music. Jazz music is a symbol of freedom, hope and the ability of express ones self in through one of best art forms which is music. Meaning, African Americans fought oppression since the beginning of slavery, and Jazz music represented that resistance. Jazz music has a foundation of the basic rules of composition, but it has since expanded its way toward newer forms of music. America who also gained their freedom from Europe joined showed their patriarchy by listening to the Jazz music on records and on the radio to encourage their fellow Americans to believe in their country, and the freedom it stands for. Hollywood, celebrity musicians and Jazz musicians even supported freedom by joining patriotic films to get their point across to the world. This act caused Hitler and Stalin to fear the effect Jazz music would have on all who listens who could easily be influenced by the idea of freedom, and patriotism. In the year 1921 there were Americans who did not favor Jazz music or the Jazz dance. There were activist who stated that Jazz is a type of menace that is worse that alcohol, and that it would be better to wipe Jazz out of existence. In Germany, Jazz and all other American music was banned in the country before and after Americans joined the war. Stalin forbid the playing of Jazz music at the end of the 1945 war throughout the Soviet Union, and banned the use of saxophones. Jazz was called "the music of blacks by Hitler as a reason for the prohibition of Jazz music. Nevertheless, Jazz music was embraced by all who heard it around the globe. In fact, It was adored by those who supported the resistance of such a war. In the area of Azerbaijan the year of the 1950's produced even more forbidden Jazz music into a new style of Jazz known as Mugam that came from the Baku style of music. The sound of Jazz produces an atmosphere of relaxation and freedom that even spread to Algeria who wrote a form of Jazz that spread all around their country and in Europe known as Rai in the late 1960's. Though there were many haters of Jazz music who forbid the use of it those who understood loved it. Those who did not like Jazz wrote books on it titled "Vo do do de o Blues" against Jazz and blues. Another title was "Anti rag time girl" about a lady who hates Jazz music. However, when the underground clubs broke the law discreetly to make a home for jazz in Speakeasies they also spread the gospel of Jazz music all around the world. Creating Jazz Music All over the world people have invented their own interpretation of Jazz by creating new music from their soul, yet branching out to expand the capabilities of the music of their culture. Jazz around the world must always begin with examples of various music. The main traits of the styles of music that stands out consistently should be reviewed. One must think about the aesthetic nature of the songs, and the general sound of that style. The next action to make is to add a trait or two to the traditional music of your culture. In all music there are notes that sound horrible when played together or just plain uninteresting. With research and experimentation one can find traits from many styles of music that could fit together perfectly. There you will have invented a new style of music by expanding your cultural music, or adding the ethnic trait to another style of music. One can always balance each trait evenly to make it difficult for anyone to point out anyone style to create a new style of mongrel music. Nevertheless, creating Jazz music is taking what is known and expanding it without abandoning the main core of the style. It has already been determined that the creation of basic Jazz music must include syncopation, speech rhythms, chromatic juxtaposition of 7th to 9th to 13th chordal harmony using accidentals, improvisation and a walking bass line. The usual instruments used in the creation of Jazz music are percussion, brass and string bass. Nowadays, strings and woodwinds can be added to the creation of Jazz music to add to the tonal quality of the sound. The upper stringed instruments as well as the lowest double bass stringed instruments can expand the sound of jazz music in the vertical matter of height, and depth while the brass sounds stronger as the center of Jazz music. The addition of the breathy sound of the woodwinds tends to soften the sound. Therefore, having instruments from all the musical families balances the music to a fuller colorful atmosphere of sound. To diversify creation of Jazz music one should determine the elements to add or expand on. The elements to look for would be tone color, rhythm, and resonance. Furthermore, take time to research the instruments for woodwinds, percussion, brass, and strings from other countries to see what can fit in the creation of Jazz music. You can also visit www.asza.com/ihm.shtml for a collection of world instruments. The American Influence Of Jazz Music The Jazz music sensation began to rub off on other parts of the world which encourages the experimentation of melding their familiar sounds with the essence of Jazz. In Europe's country in the Region of France came the Quintette Du Hot Club de France who was responsible for the making of the early "Gypsy Jazz". The Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt created gypsy jazz by mixing the style of French Musette which was used in the dance halls, eastern European Folk known as Jazz Manouche, and American swing of the 1930's. The sound was developed by instruments from the string family which are a steel string guitar, violin, and an upright bass. The atmosphere of the Jazz music is seductive with sudden unpredictable twists, and accelerating rhythms. The French artist Bireli Lagrene plays this unique music with old elements of the past. Another style of Jazz music that allowed the musicians to express themselves freely was the invention of Avant-garde or free Jazz music. Both of these styles stemmed from the Bebop era, yet produced a relaxed form of harmonic and rhythmic music in the 1940's and 1950's. The musicians John Coltrane, Dewey Redman, Charles Mingus, Sun Ra, Sam Rivers, Ornette Coleman and many more were the creators of the free Jazz music. Between the 1960's and 1970's the Latin musicians created the Afro-Cuban and Brazilian Jazz Music styles after Bebop musicians Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Taylor cultivated it. Gillespie and Taylor was influenced by the music of Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians Chico O'farrill, Tito Puente, Chano Pozo, Xavier Cugat, Mario Bauza and Arturo Sandoval. Jazz music expressed in a Latin interpretation was termed Bossa Nova with origins in Samba music which is a mixture of Jazz, classical and pop music from the 20th century. Bossa is a moderate sound of music with Classical harmonic structure from Europe, Samba polyrhythm's from Brazil and cool music. The tempo of such a work is about 120 beats per minute. The instruments used in this particular sound is nylon stringed guitar, piano, high hat tap of eighths, tapping on the rim of the drum like Sade's "Sweetest Taboo", and a vocalist. The sound produced is a new relaxing sound where the acoustic sound of the guitar can lull one to sleep with it's easy melodic line. Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim became popular in the sixties with this style of music. The influence of Jazz music returned to the place of its origins in the religious music known as Urban Contemporary Gospel from the spirituals music. Much of spiritual music sung by southern slaves in the past has a haunting dark and mournful sound during the 1800 and 1900's. The churches know as the sanctified or holy churches took a more happier approach by encouraging member to sing speak their personal testimonies as they celebrated with song and dance. The sanctified artist Arizona Dranes who was a traveling pastor made recordings that would fit in many musical categories such as blues, and boogie-woogie with the use of Jazz instruments. At the time the Jazz instruments used with religious themed music were percussion and brass instruments. The Magic of Jazz Singers One of the most beautiful interpreters of song are Jazz singers. The abilities of the human voice is phenomenal in the fact that one could imitate another person or instrument, or sing several octaves on the piano. The human voice can also interpret emotion in a way only a human can. Jazz instruments can express emotion, but the natural gift from within the human voice is conveyed in a variety of ways. For example, each singer has his or her own style they were born with. Some of them may not be the best singers that Simon Cowell would compliment. However, there are many Jazz legends and people like them who have their own unique style. The je ne sias quoi x factor of a voice that is unusual, yet pleasing to the ears. The Jazz singers who have this quality have been heard in many clubs, and recordings in the past. These Jazz Legends have helped make Jazz music popular especially with the use of the voice. There are four different types of Jazz singers that made it in the world of Jazz music. One style is the well-known crooner sound from singers such as Ivie Anderson, Harry Connick Jr., Mel Torme` Michael Buble`, Tony Bennett, Billy Eckstine, Mildred Bailey, Michael Kaczurak, Sathima Bea Benjamin, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Johnny Hartman, Bing Crosby, and Nat King Cole. The signature element of the crooner sound is a voice with a smooth and sophisticated resonance made for the microphone as clear as a radio announcers speaking voice. Another style of Vocal Jazz Singers is the soulful bluesy sound with Singers such as Diane Schuur, Nina Simone, Bessie Smith, Etta James, Della Reese, and more. The soulful sound of voice is the skill of ornamentation of the voice running up and down the scale with ease. Bluesy and soulful is also a depth in the range of the voice that sound as if it comes direction from the soul. There are Jazz music Virtuoso's who have the ability to do anything from vocalese to scat to ballad to fast and complex in perfection. The Jazz singers of this category are Ella Fitzgerald, Phoebe Snow, Eva Cassidy, Ernestine Anderson, Betty Carter, Cab Calloway, Sammy Davis Jr., Eddie Jefferson, Bobby McFerrin Jr., Jon Hendricks, Slim Gaillard, Rachelle Ferrell, Annie Ross, Etta Jones, Dame Cleo Laine, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen Mercedes McRae, Mabel Mercer, Nikoletta Szoke, and Nancy Wilson. The Virtuoso can croon a ballad and articulate it in a unique way. The virtuoso Jazz singer can also be strong and sassy and scat in great complexity with ease. There is no doubt that the virtuoso Jazz singer is the total embodiment of what Jazz is all about. The last type of vocalist has an ethereal appeal that seems to come out of another place with uniqueness in sound, and suitable to the world of Jazz. The unique style of Jazz singers is a sound that one doesn't usually hear. For example, the uniqueness can come from the sound quality of the voice or by doing something that sets the Jazz singer on a different plane than the others. Singers of this category are Amos Leon Thomas, Billy Holiday, Lee Wiley, Blossom Dearie, Shirley Horne, Rita Reys, Eartha Kitt, Anita O'Day, Ray Reach, Ethel Waters, Monica Zetterlund, Jimmy Rushing, Louis Armstrong, Cassandra Wilson, Al Jarreau, and Dennis Rowland. Each one has a particular sound of raspy, lush, high pitched, yodeling, vibrato, or gift of humor. There are also the average Jazz singers who deserve to be in the spotlight also for having what it takes to make it successfully in Jazz. The History Of Vocal Jazz Jazz music made its mark in the hearts of Americans ever since the 20th century when people embraced the musicians of the time. However, when the singers came on the scene strong with skills in the art of scatting that is a vocal form of Jazz improvisation, the ability to articulate music expressively, and have that pizzazz to swing to the rhythms effectively makes a Jazz virtuoso. Jazz music bore another gift on the American public to spread to the world during the 1940's when singers came together to form groups. The sound of acapella harmony of many voices like in a church choir using a juxtaposition of Jazz harmony is ethereal and divine. In fact, due to the success of such groups as the Mills Brothers, Boswell Sisters, Andrews sisters, and Modernaires during the 1930's 1940's made Jazz fans of vocal Jazz music seek more. As a result, record stores stocked up on the music of vocal Jazz music, and it became a tremendous success that made quartets like Manhattan Transfer a household name today. In addition, America has the largest selection of vocal Jazz music even though there are vocal Jazz ensembles all over the world. These new vocal Jazz groups do not all sing a capella style music that is common to barber shop. Vocal Jazz groups commonly use a Jazz band to accompany them as they perform. Jazz music may not be as strict as classical music, but it is in a class all it's own. It takes great skill to sing Vocal Jazz as it does with Classical, and many other styles of music. Meaning, everyone cannot be a good jazz soloist, but it doesn't mean that they cannot sing in the vocal jazz ensemble. Each singer must match in volume, resonance, and key in order to be a worthy member in the vocal Jazz ensemble. Ever singer must be able to sing their parts, and be heard as well as blended into the group. There are times when different people in the vocal Jazz group will be asked to scat to the music, and take the challenges that some complex Jazz music holds with great skill. All the beauty that Vocal Jazz possessed in the past did not always keep it in popularity. For instance, there was a time in the 60's when Jazz music no longer had mass appeal due to the American interest in Rock music. Imagine the record companies who supply music to the radios, and the nightclubs who allowed popular acts to perform live suddenly locking Jazz musicians out. Yet, Jazz never lost its following despite the ever-changing interests of the public. Vocal Jazz singers attempted to begin again in the 70's, but the public did not show much interest in a style that was considered passe. Fortunately, those who loved the music and dedicated themselves to the music caused people to take notice from the latter part of the 80's to the millennium where Jazz singers came prepared to recreate Jazz again. Vocal Jazz singers went along with the times to keep the traditional Jazz and add new elements that the public would like to hear. Billie Holiday Billie Holiday was one of the most famous jazz music singers in America. Her real name was Eleanora Fagan. Like most lives of musicians, she had a very bad time growing up which damaged her career. Her life is written about in the autobiography Lady Sings The Blues, but there are many things in there that are not really valid. Her stage name is from an actress, Billie Dove and her father Clarence Holiday. Billie grew up in the poorest area of Baltimore. Her parents married when she was three years old, but it did not last. They divorced and she was raised by her mother and various relatives. She had been raped when she was eleven years old, and skipped school a lot, so she was placed in The House of the Good Shepherd in 1925. The House of the Good Shepherd was a reform school for Catholics. A friend of the family helped her out of there a couple of years later. She then went to New York to live with her mother. A year later, her mother discovered a neighbor was raping Billie, the man spent three months in jail. Things seemed to go from bad to worse. Billie had said a brothel claimed her where she worked as a prostitute , and then was in prison for awhile. She started singing for tips in the Harlem night clubs in the 1930's. It was said when she had not a dime to her name and was about to be evicted, she sang "Trave'lin All Alone" at a club and had the audience crying. She kept singing for tips until she ended up at a popular jazz club called Pod's and Jerry's in Harlem. A lot of her performing cannot be discovered, but it is said she was working at Monette's, another club in 1933 when John Hammond, a talent scout found her. John got her to record with Benny Goodman that same year. She sang in a group with Teddy Wilson, a pianist. Their debut was the song "Miss Brown You", and "What A Little Moonlight Can Do", which made her a famous jazz singer. The year following that, she began recording under her own stage name. Some of the musicians who she performed with her the best, such as Lester young, a tenor sax player. Lester was a boarder in her mother's house, so they were good friends. He was the one who gave her the nickname Lady Day. She gave him the nickname Prez. She also performed with Artie Shaw and Count Basie. When Billie was on the Columbia label, someone gave her the song "Strange Fruit" about lynching. She sang the song at a club in 1939, afraid of some kind of retaliation. Later on, Billie said that it was similar to the death of her father, and that is part of the reason why she performed it. She was upset that a lot of people didn't understand the song. She said," They'll ask me to sing that sexy song about the people swinging." Columbia didn't record it, but Commodore Records did. She sang that song for twenty years. She began doing drugs in the 1940's, married Jimmy Monroe, a trombonist in 1941. At the same time, she was with her drug dealer Joe Guy living with him common law. She divorced her husband in 1947, and departed from her drug dealer, but spent eight months in a correctional facility for women. Because her Cabaret Card was taken, she couldn't perform in clubs in New York City for the last twelve years of her life, except once at the Ebony Club with permission. She continued on with substance abuse, and getting into the worst relationships with men. She died in 1959 from cirrhosis of the liver. She was just 44 years old. All she had was seventy cents in the bank, and a $750 tabloid fee. A movie Lady Sings The Blues was done about her life starring Diana Ross. It wasn't the real story but it gave Diana a Best Actress nomination. Billie has been an inspiration for many people and is still one of the best jazz music vocalists today.
Art Blakey The beginning career of jazz music legend Art Blakey was amazing. He took piano lessons at school. When he was in the seventh grade he played music full-time and was leading a popular band. Not too long after, he started playing drums in the style of such players as Ray Bauduc, Chick Webb and Sid Catlett. He taught himself how to play. He played with Mary Lou Williams at Kelly's Stable in 1942. Next, with Fletcher Henderson for the next two years, and he toured with. Art then went to Boston to lead a big band, then joined Billy Eckstine's band in St. Louis. Art stayed with that band from 1944-1947. Art was considered to be among jazz music's finest musicians such as Fats Navarro, Miles Davis and Dexter Gordon. In 1947 when Eckstine's band broke up, Art started the Seventeen Messengers. He would go on to have several other groups with this same name. He then went to Africa to learn all about Islamic people for over a year. By the 1950's he performed with Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Horace Silver. After they performed together many times, he started another group with Horace which included Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley with the name Jazz Messengers. Horace left a year later. He was the known leader of the band. The Jazz Messengers played hard-bop jazz music. The roots of which were blues music. Hard bop is a mixture of bebop with gospel and soul music. An example of this is his album Moanin' recorded on Blue Note Records in 1958. They fought hard to keep black people interested in jazz, when the ballroom jazz music disappeared. Many young musicians during the years have been influenced by this style. Jazz musicians such as Keith Jarrett, JoAnne Brackcen, Woody Shaw , Donald Byrd, Delfeayo, Branford and Wynton Marsalis. In 1971 to 1972, Art world toured with the biggest names in jazz music such as Kai Winding, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. He also performed a lot at the Newport Jazz Festival. The best performance was when he was in a battling performance with Buddy Rich, Max Roach and Elvin Jones in 1974. Art continued to tour nonstop with help from Donald Harrison and Terence Blanchard, along with younger musicians such as Benny Green. Art never thought of his music as similar to African style, although he did use some of their techniques such as using his elbow on the tom-tom to alter pitch. His trademark, the forced closing of the hi-hat on each second and fourth beat was created in 1950-1951, which many jazz musicians copied. A major jazz musician and innovative in his drum style, he was unique and performed with power. The way he played was loud and aggressive. The jazz critics basically ignored what he did in the 1960's. American audiences left him behind in the 1970's when rock music took over the scene. He always made time for young jazz musicians, listening to them, and helping them with their jazz music careers. Dizzy Gillespie There is not one person around who knows jazz music that did not hear the name Dizzy Gillespie. Dizzy Gillespie was a composer, singer, jazz trumpet player and bandleader. He along with Charlie Parker was the creator of modern jazz music and bebop. Dizzy also started Afro-Cuban jazz. He had the gift of making new harmonies that were layered and complex. At the time, it was not done in jazz before. He was most remembered for the trumpet he played that was bent. It was accidentally ruined when he was on a job in 1953. Surprisingly, Dizzy liked it because of the way it changed the tone of the instrument. Dizzy was born John Birks on October 21, 1917 in South Carolina. He was the youngest in the family of nine children. His father was a horrible man who beat his children all the time, and died when dizzy was 10 years old. He taught himself how to play trumpet when he was twelve years old. He won a scholarship to Laurinburg Institute but, dropped out of school and went to Philadelphia to pursue music full-time. He played with Frankie Fairfax and recorded for the very first time in 1937. He then was a part of Cab Calloway's band, but was criticized for his solos, calling them "Chinese music". He was thrown out because Cab said that he sent a spitball at him, and Dizzy, angrily stabbed him in the leg with a knife. Dizzy was a part of Duke Ellington's, Woody Herman and many other bands. It was with Billy Eckstine's band where his unique playing fit better than anywhere else. He met again with Charlie Parker. Together they played famous clubs such as Monroe's Uptown House, and Minton's Playhouse. This is where jazz music progressed again and bebop was created. In the beginning a lot of people didn't like bebop. They were used to the old jazz music, and thought the new sound of bebop was a threat and were afraid of it. Dizzy's style had an effect on trumpeters and the younger musicians that he was able to mentor. Examples of bebop music are "Groovin' High", "Salt Peanuts" and "A Night In Tunisia". Musicians that he taught bebop to were Miles Davis and Max Roach. Eventually, the band departed, as the audience grew wary of the new jazz music. Dizzy wanted to go big, and tried to create his own big band in 1945 but was not successful with it. He started other small groups and finally put a big band together that was a success. He soloed many times with Jazz at the Philharmonic. Dizzy proved himself overseas in France when he began his third big band, and did several concerts and albums. During the 1940's Dizzy was composing Afro-Cuban music. Afro-Cuban music is a combination of Latin and African music, pop and salsa. The work that is the most well known are "Tin Tin Deo" and "Manteca". Dizzy was responsible for finding musician Arturo Sandoval while he was on a tour in Cuba researching music. Dizzy continued to reach people with his music even on television and film. He was on Sesame Street and The Cosby Show. He died in 1993 from Pancreatic Cancer, he was 75 years old. He had two funerals, one was for friends and family and the other funeral was for the public in Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Dizzy Gillespie was a special innovator in jazz and is continually remembered at the New York Bahai Center. Lionel Hampton One great jazz musician was Lionel Hampton. Lionel was a bandleader, actor, jazz vibraphonist and percussionist. He has worked with other famous jazz musicians such as Buddy Rich, Quincy Jones and Charlie Parker. Lionel was raised by his grandmother in the south before he relocated to Chicago. In the 1920's he started playing the xylophone and drums. His first instrument was the fife drum. When he was a teenager he played drums for the Chicago Defender Newsboy's band. When he lived in California, he played for the Dixieland Blue-Blowers. The first band that he recorded with was The Quality Serenaders, then he left again to go play with another band, Les Hite band. It was here that he began studying the vibraphone. Louis Armstrong asked Lionel to play the vibraphones on two songs. That is when he made the vibraphone a popular instrument. While still with the Les Hite band, Lionel went to the University of Southern California taking music. He also worked with the Nat Shilkrer orchestra. In 1936 he was in the film Pennies From Heaven, starring Bing Crosby. He was next to Louis Armstrong, but hid himself by wearing a mask when he was playing the drums. In 1936 he was fortunate to meet Benny Goodman who came to watch him perform. Benny asked him to join his trio which consisted of Benny, Gene Krupa and Teddy Wilson. It was then renamed the Benny Goodman Quartet. The year before, Lionel worked with Billie Holiday with Benny's orchestra. This group of artists was one of the first integrated jazz groups that performed openly in society. Lionel recorded with several groups while still with Benny Goodman, but in 1940 he left to create his own big band. Lionel's orchestra was a hit in the 40's and 50's. "Flying Home" featured a Illinois Jacquet solo that began a new style of music, R&B. The song was so popular that he did another version called "Flying Home, Number Two", with Arnett Cobb. Lionel's music was a mixture of jazz music and R&B during this time. Some great jazz musicians that worked with him during this time were Johnny Griffin, Dinah Washington, Charles Mingus and Dizzy Gillespie. As time went on, in the 1960's and after, his success lessened. He was still performing hits from the 1930's-1950's. In the 1970's he recorded with the Who's Who Record label, but still did not do as well as he could have. Going the college route seemed to help a bit. His band played at University of Idaho's jazz concert regularly. In 1985, the named it the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Two years later, they named the music school the Lionel Hampton School of Music. It was the only music school at a university that was named after a jazz musician. Lionel kept playing until he had a stroke in 1991 in Paris. Even though he had to stop performing as much, he did a performance at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 2001, not long before he died. This jazz music legend will never be forgotten. Lena Horne Lena Horne is one of the most popular African-American jazz legend singers. She was born in 1917 Lena Mary Calhoun Horne in New York City. She performed with the greatest jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington and Artie Shaw. She lives in New York City today and does not appear in the public eye anymore. Lena is most famous for the movie Stormy Weather, in which she sung the title song, in the 1940's. Contrary to how music careers usually begin, Lena grew up in an elite family. She lived in a black bourgeois area in Brooklyn, New York. Her father Edwin Horne left them when she was three-years-old. Her mother Edna Scottron, daughter of an inventor, was an actress with a black theater group and traveled a lot. Lena's grandparents raised her. Though, she was said to have been a part of the Black elite, racial discrimination still existed. Lena Horne and her friend Paul Robeson embarked on a lifelong effort to fight for Civil Rights. In fact, she took the civil rights movement so seriously to the point of rejecting the offer to perform to a segregated audience or to an audience where the black people were there only to serve white people. Lena Horne was apart of the March on Washington just for the purpose of receiving well-deserved treatment equal to the privileged white people. In addition, Lena Horne committed herself to speaking along with performing for the NAACP, National Council For Negro Women and to assist former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt in passing the anti-lynching law in America's Congress. Even with all those serious concerns she still found time to become one of the most memorable Jazz singers in history. She performed at the cafe society, a club imitating the European cabarets to show the talent of undiscovered African American which led to the success of Lena Horne, Paul Robeson, Big Joe Turner, Ella Fitzgerald, Lester Young, Hazel Scott, Sarah Vaughn, Josh White, Pete Johnson and Mary Lou Williams. From 1947 to 1971 Lena Horne remarried again to a Jewish man Lennie Hayton a musical conductor and arranger for MGM studios later to admit in her autobiography titled "Lena" by author Richard Schickel that she married him to help her career. Nevertheless, the interracial couple as always had to face pressures same race couples do not, but she stayed with him until he passed away. Lena Horne was in several Broadway musicals, and won a 1958 award for her performance in the calypso titled "Jamaica". Lena Horne won a Tony Award For her one woman show titled "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music". In her success, she has to her credit one of the longest solo performances in history to run more than the usual record time. Lena Horne in great modesty did not accept a lot of musical projects, yet agreed upon a recording with Frank Sinatra and Quincy Jones as producer which did not happen. However, Lena Horne worked on a solo recording that featured duets with Sammy Davis, and Joe Williams titled "The Men In My Life" in the year 1988. The next year she won a Grammy Life Time Achievement Award to add to her list of credits of success she mastered in her career. In her eighties she continued to record albums titled 1994 "We'll Be Together Again", 1995 Live album that won her a Grammy for the Best Vocal Jazz Album. 1998 "Being Myself". Finally, she had the chance to sing on an album with Frank Sinatra to the song "Embraceable You". In 2000 she recorded another album to lend her voice to a "Classic Ellington" recording. Lena Horne is a member of the sorority Delta Sigma Theta and has been on the label Blue Note Records since 1995. In 2005, Oprah Winfrey stated that she may to ask singer/musician Alicia Keys to play the part of Lena Horne in a movie. The Manhattan Transfer Anyone who loves jazz music must know about the amazing vocal group The Manhattan Transfer. What some may not know is that the Manhattan Transfer comes from the Name of Two different groups. The first group made one album, then broke up in 1969, the other group is the one, which is the basis for this article. They began in 1972 and still sing today. The Manhattan Transfer does an exquisite job of blending jazz music, popular music and big band together. The members of the group are: Alan Paul, Janis Siegel, Laurel Masse and Tim Hauser. Their first album entitled, The Manhattan Transfer brought them a hit single, a gospel song called "Operator". In 1971 an album was made with only one of the members, Tim Hauser. The album Jukin' was really considered to be released by a different group. This vocal group did a spectacular job performing in Europe. The next two albums, Pastiche and Coming Out had a number of top ten hit singles. "Chanson D'Amour" went to number one in the United Kingdom in 1977, but didn't make the charts in the U.S. After that, the group released The Manhattan Transfer Live Album recorded in the United Kingdom. After that, Laurel was terribly injured in a car accident and Cheryl Bentyne took her place. The group has been the same ever since. They went on to make another hit in the U.S. with "Twilight Zone/Twilight Zone" from the album Extensions. This same album gave The Manhattan Transfer their most recognized sound. "Birdland" written by Jon Hendricks gave them their first Grammy award for the Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal or Instrumental. They also an award for best arrangement for voices. The group broke their record in 1981 by winning a Grammy in a pop and jazz category that year. Jazz music was taking a new and enjoyable turn. "Boy From New York City" made it into the top ten, and won Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. "Until I Met You (Corner Pocket)" was for Best Jazz Performance Duo or group. Both singles were on their fifth album Mecca for Modems. By the time their album Bodies and Souls was released in 1983, they took a new turn in jazz music again, their songs becoming more contemporary and urban. "Mystery", "Spice of Life" were hit singles. "Mystery" is one of the best Manhattan Transfer songs. Anita Baker covered it on her Rapture album. With their next album Vocalese, they were going for complexities and were very successful. That album got not one, but 12 Grammy nominations. It was number two to Michael Jackson's Thriller album. They won for two Grammys. One for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group and Best Arrangement for Voices. Lately, the group has released An Acapella Christmas in Japan, 2005. Last year they have released The Symphony Sessions, which is a greatest hits collection. The songs were re-done for pop orchestras and symphonies. Late last year, they released a DVD called The Christmas Concert, which was on the PBS network. The Manhattan Transfer also did an original song for a film, called "Trail of the Screaming Forehead". The Manhattan Transfer has really changed and expanded the style of jazz music. Each of the members has appeared on other artist's albums as guest. To date they have recorded twenty-four albums, and each have done solo albums. Janis's solo career being the most popular. Diana Krall Diana Krall is an accomplished singer, and jazz pianist. Diana was born in British Columbia Canada in 1964. She learned to play piano when she was just four-years-old. Everyone is her family are musicians. When she was in high school she played in a jazz group, and at just fifteen played in many restaurants in Nanaimo. She won a scholarship from Vancouver International Jazz Festival at 17 years old to go to Berklee College of Music. She stayed for one and a half years. When she played in Nanaimo, Ray Brown, a famous bass player and ex-husband of Ella Fitzgerald told her to move to Los Angeles, California and improve her talents with Jimmy Rowles, a pianist. She did, and began to sing with him. This move led her to into a circle of producers and teachers who could further her career. In 1990 she went to New York and married the British musician Elvis Costello, on musician Elton John's estate in 2003. Diana and Elvis had twins Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James in 2006. Listening to her fathers huge jazz music albums is what helped Diana be the musician she is today. She lost her mother to multiple myeloma in 2002, and her mentors Ray Brown and Rosemary Clooney in just a few short months of each other. Her younger sister is a strong supporter of her jazz music career. Her first album came out in 1993, called Stepping Out. John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton were part of that record. Tommy LiPuma heard it and produced her next album Only Trust Your Heart in 1995. Her next album was called All For You: A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio, in 1996. That was nominated for a Grammy award and was on the jazz charts in Billboard magazine for seventy weeks. In 1997 Love Scenes was a hit record with Russell Malone on guitar, and Christian McBride on bass guitar. In 2000, Diana went on a tour with Tony Bennett and was nominated for more Grammy awards. The Look of Love album went platinum, the following year. It went to number one on the Canadian charts, and on the Billboard 200, top ten. In 2001 Diana toured the world. The Paris Olympia concert was recorded, and Diana Krall-Live in Paris was released and went to the top of Billboard jazz charts, number 5 in Canada and the top 20 of Billboard 200. On the recording was a cover of Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are" and "A Case Of You" by Joni Mitchell. Diana also wrote with her husband after they were married, and wrote her own songs. The Girl in the Other Room was the result of her work, in 2004. This year, she was in a Lexus ad. Diana also sang "Dream a Little Dream of Me" with Hank Jones, a famous pianist. In 2003 she received an honorary doctorate from University of Victoria. In 2004 she was included in the Canada's Walk of Fame. The New York Voices The New York Voices are a vocal jazz group that have learned from other vocal jazz groups such as Take 6, The Manhattan Transfer, Lionel Hampton and have taken jazz music to higher levels which have earned them Grammy Awards. Their sound is definite jazz sound with classical, pop, Brazilian and R&B immersed in. In 1987, Peter Eldridge, Darmon Meader, Kim Nazarian, Caprice Fox and Sara Krieger formed the group. Darmon, Peter, Caprice and Kim went to Ithaca College, in upstate New York. They were able to go and tour the European jazz festivals in 1986. In 1989 they were signed to GRP Records and their first album New York Voices was released. In no time at all it seemed they became popular in the jazz music world. Four albums were done with GRP. The Collection, Hearts of Fire and What's Inside. During this time, some changes were made. Sara left, and they auditioned more than sixty vocalists in the United States before they settled on Lauren Kinhan. When she sang with them, the chemistry was real and she fit in perfectly. Thus, they called themselves the "New" New York Voices. Lauren appears on the third recording. In 1994, Caprice left , and the New York Voices was at the point the same as it is presently. The New York Voices, has recorded their own albums, guest starred on other albums, and many other performances. Some of those performances are Live at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, Brazilian Dreams, a Latin Grammy Award winner with Paquito d' Rivera and Heirs of Jobim. They have also performed with many famous jazz artists such as Annie Ross, Bobby McFerrin, Nancy Wilson, John Hendricks and Diana Krall. They tried something new in 1997, by singing Paul Simon's songs. It was called New York Voices Sing the Songs of Paul Simon. They used many styles to sing his music. Near the end of 2000, after they have completed their sixth album, Sing , Sing, Sing, they took on big band music. They had performed with the Count Basie Orchestra for years, so Darmon arranged the band and vocal parts and Elliot Scheiner who has produced The Manhattan Transfer and Steely Dan, produced a great recording. Other arrangers on the recording were Rob Mounsey and Michael Abene. The result was something complex, with swing, and vocal parts intermingled that was contemporary as well as classic. They did it in a way that did not lessen either style. In 2006 their was a new recording where they go back to their Brazilian style. The New York Voices have been all around the world astounding audiences with their amazing vocal style, arrangements and classy selections. They have been at numerous jazz festivals, The North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland and The Montreal Jazz Festival. The New York Voices also helps high school and college students doing workshops and clinics. They have many projects teaching, writing, solo gigs as well as arranging. They are forever expanding their fan base by experimenting with all types of music. All About High School Jazz Competitions There is nothing more exciting that masses of Jazz lovers all in the same place competing in a competition to showcase the skills they have honed. High school educators all around the country unite at different location to enter their vocal Jazz ensembles, Jazz Bands, Jazz Orchestra's in a competition to represent their schools. All who enter this Jazz competition have been preparing and working hard at learning the music most of the school year. The music educators gather a small stack of repertoire that will really make their students stand out as unique. The key to performing for the Jazz competition is to know the music, and express it exactly the way the teacher has taught them to do. The truth of the matter is that all Jazz singers should sing out , and not hold back unless the teacher motions for you to do so. All the instrumentalist should follow the music and shape the sound. Jazz music is an expression that should come as a personal interpretation of the piece. After all, how do the winners in the Jazz competitions exist if the right music and interpretation of the musicians did not exist? Fortunately, the successful Jazz Group must possess something that allows them to feel at ease with showing soulful emotion with the instrument of voice. When every member does the same thing it makes the most magical atmosphere of music that would send chills up the spine. One can play the piece of music plainly as written, or one can perform the music as written shaping it into something beautiful. Emotion should always be involved with music performance. Moreover, the music performed in Jazz competitions should be believable to the listeners. Meaning, if you do not feel the music no one else will feel it. Therefore, a performance without emotion is dull and uninteresting. If emotion is something hard to grasp at anything in your life, you should try the Mr. Holland's Opus strategy. There was a girl who could not play her instrument the way she wanted to. He told her in the film to think of something that means a lot to her. She thought of that and was able to perform. If the piece you are playing does not move you personally you might find it hard to perform. However, if you are familiar with what the music is about it will be easier to interpret it. For instance, "Georgia On My Mind" written by Stuart Gorrell and Hoagie Carmichael, one may have never traveled to the state of Georgia. Nevertheless, the music is an expression of adoration for the state of Georgia. All students participating in high school Jazz competitions should use that emotion to the fullest when performing. In other words, think of something you adore and perform with that though in mind. The thought can be a person, a place or even an object that you hold dear. Be prepared to shine in high school Jazz competition, and feel the music from your heart. It wouldn't hurt for the teachers to choose the right music to show off your talents. All About Jazz Dance The Art of Jazz dance is an amalgamation of different styles of dance that began between 1800's, and the middle of the 1900's rooted in African American movement. One man known for this type of dance was the star of vaudeville Joe Frisco around 1910 who danced in a unrestrained fashion in close vicinity to the ground while tossing his cigar, and derby in a juggling manner. The Jazz dance style up to the middle of 1950's was Tap dance which was always performed with Jazz music such as the Jitterbug, Swing, Boogie Woogie, Lindy Hop, and the Charleston. Katherine Dunham is renowned choreographer and dancer studied the cultural dances of Caribbean in Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, Martinique and Shango making this African American dance a modern work of pure art. She took this style to Hollywood and Broadway who embraced a more refined Jazz dance. Modern Jazz Dance is a smooth style of dance roots from Tap, Ballet and Jazz music which is performed in many musicals from the Pajama Game to Cabaret to Chicago to music videos and the Las Vegas showgirl performances. The usual technique for Jazz dance is that of a ballet dancer for balance and strength from doing slow movements. In contrast the typical Jazz dance has sharp movements, but the skills of ballet smoothes it down into a refined style. Moreover, Jazz dance is such a versatile style that it can be combined with other dances from lyrical, contemporary and hip hop. Jazz dance like Jazz music can be combined with other dance styles to enhance the dance to another level. For instance, The United Kingdom witness a new movement of dancers in the 1980's who danced when the Jazz, and Funk music clubs was becoming unpopular known as Street Fusion Jazz Dance. Due to the new modern music scene, new groups who longed to keep the tradition of Jazz dance, and still leave room for the new styles. There are two groups known for street fusion jazz dance known as IDJ ( I Dance Jazz), Brother in Jazz and Jazz Cotech. Famous people of the world of Jazz dance is Fred Astaire, Jerome Robbins, Jack Cole, and Bob Fosse. In the world of Jazz Dance there are terms people use to describe various dance movement. Jazz Dance Terms: Ad lib, Axel Turn, Ball Change, Barrel Jump, Barrel Turn, Bounce, Cake Walk, Cat walk, Catch Step, Chasse`, Coffee Grinder, Contract, Curve Or Arch, Dolphin, Drop and Recover, Fall, Fall Over The Log, Fan Kick, Figure 8, Flick, Flick Kick, Freeze, Funk, Head-Roll, Hinge, Hip Walk, Hip-Fall, Hip-Roll, Hitch Kick, Hop, Jazz Drag, Jazz Run, Jazz Split, Jazz Square, Jazz Walk, Jump Over The Log, Kick, Knee Fall, Knee Slide, Knee Turn, Lay Out, Limbo, Mess Around, Moonwalk, Pencil Turn, Pitch, Pivot Step, Primitive Squat, Release, Ripple, Shimmie, Shiver, Shoulder Fall, Shoulder Roll, Sissonne Fall, Skate, Snake, Snap, Spins, Spiral, Stag Leap, Step, Switch, Table Top, Tilt, Touch, Tripplettes, Turns, Twists, and the Worm. Jazz Music Schools There are many excellent jazz music schools across the country as well as all over the world. Here is my list of some of the best colleges for young people who want to get the finest education that jazz music has to offer. Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY At Ithaca College, you can get a Bachelor's of Music in Jazz Studies. The Jazz Studies program will get students to perform at many places-on campus as well as off. Some courses that students will take are: Jazz arranging, jazz improvisation and jazz history. Ithaca teaches jazz music in both avenues, for instance, if you are a vocal jazz major or a major in any instrument, your private lessons will be done in the traditional classical style. If your major is jazz guitar, you can study electric guitar, but still know how to perform on classical guitar. Guest artists visit Ithaca and perform giving master classes for students, and they also coach them. Some artists that have performed there are: Jaime Laredo, Rhythm and Brass, the Bach Aria Group and Vladimir Feltsman. Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA Berklee College of Music is where students from all around the world come to study jazz music. Students would be majoring in jazz composition here. This jazz music program develops student's creative side, contrapuntal skills, formal as well as developing melody, rhythm and harmony. The student will end up with a group of compositions that will be performed. in public for different ensembles to play. Students will attend jazz clinics, concerts, join in projects and develop critical skills that will enable them to discuss various types of criteria in jazz music. Completion of this major will give students all the skills they need to pursue a career as a professional jazz writer. This is one of the best schools to enroll in to get a top-notch music degree. University of Rochester, Rochester, NY The Eastman School of Music is a name that is heard quite often among the music crowd in upstate New York. Students going to this school will be majoring in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media. Students choosing this major will acquire performance, teaching as well as other music skills and academics. Completing this major will enable students to be their own boss, in a way. They can be part of a symphony, and teach in college; or teach private students and direct as a church musician and free-lance their skills and give recitals. Some students become lawyers or music administrators because the training in music at Eastman School gives them the discipline to do and be anything. Manhattan School Of Music, New York Students attending this school will be skilled composers, arrangers as well as performers when they are ready to begin their jazz music career. Students are taught by faculty who are experts. The will also be able to perform with well known jazz artists.There are undergraduate level courses, graduate and doctorate level to major in jazz music. Those who are serious in obtaining a career in jazz music, should really consider any one of these schools to enroll. Jazz Music Festivals If you are a jazz music lover, chances are that you go to a festival every year. What you probably didn't know is that there are jazz festivals all over the world. If you like to travel, expand your jazz tastes and go to these international jazz festivals. Akbank Jazz Festival, Istanbul, Turkey The Akbank Jazz Festival is one of a diverse mixture of sounds from the country as well as all around the world. Last year's festival was dedicated to Arif Mardin. One artist that has performed there is Kurt Elling. Kurt Elling is very popular in jazz music today. In his ten year career, all six of his albums were nominated for Grammy awards. He has toured all around the world in places including Israel, Japan and Australia. In 2003, he was made Vice Chair on NARAS.(National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) He has an album out this year. Barbados Jazz Festival, Barbados Some of the artists that will be performing here are Ruben Studdard, Anita Baker, Macy Gray and Robert Glasper. This is not a free Jazz music festival. Prices to hear performances range from $30 to $100, depending on the artist. If you want to attend this jazz music festival, you cannot order tickets internationally. You have to actually be in Barbados and provide the address where you'll be staying in Barbados and the tickets will be delivered to that address. Brecon Jazz Festival, United Kingdom Brecon Jazz has been around for twenty-four years. The best jazz music is performed at the brilliant Brecon Beacons National Park. It is located in Wales. The company, Brecon International Festival of Jazz Ltd., a charity organization, is backing the festival has an education and outreach program in Wales and the South-West of England, during the year. This year, the Brecon Jazz Festival had an Artist-in Residence, Joe Lovano. Joe Lovano is one of the world's best tenor saxophone players and has been around since the '70's. He has performed in Woody Herman's orchestra and Mel Lewis's orchestra. The music he then went on to create broke boundaries collaborating with artists such as John Scofield, Hank Jones and Bill Frisell. He led the BBC Big Band at Brecon, taught a masters class to young welsh Jazz musicians. This year Brecon also featured "Women in Jazz". A couple of the artists were: Jessica Williams from the U.S. and Hiromi from Japan. Copenhagan Jazz Festival, Denmark In case you didn't know, the Danish are really into jazz. New artists as well as the old have been performing in the city. The concerts in the day are perfomed near the canals and historic homes. Some prefer to play small, crowded clubs. Every live performance is electrifying and memorable. Artists that have performed here are George Clinton and the P-Funk Allstars, McCoy Tyner Trio, Scandinavian Brasillian-Big Band,Mavis Staples W. Band, The Zawinul Syndicate and Maceo Parker. Jazz music is not something that is only appreciated in the states, but everywhere around the world. It is important to experience jazz music in other places so that the magic of jazz will ever be broadened, shared and continued to be translated for years to come. Jazz Clubs Jazz music is appreciated worldwide. If you are ever traveling and are new to some countries, here are where some of the best jazz clubs are located so that every place you go will be just like home. Canadian Jazz Clubs In Westminster, you can go to the Java Jazz Cafe & Bistro. Live jazz is played served with Filipino cooking, with dishes like kare-kare, milkfish and bangus. Every night there are different artists playing. Times are from Tuesday-Thursday from 12p.m. to 2:30p.m. and 5:30 to 12:00a.m. Friday it's to 1:00a.m., Saturday 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday 5:30 p.m. to midnight. If you want to attend jam sessions, they are each Saturday 3p.m. to 6p.m. If you are ever in Victoria, go to the Hermann's Jazz Club on 753 View Street. This club has been around for 25 years. You can enjoy good food and international jazz music from the hottest musicians around. In Vancouver, you can go to Capones Restaurant & Live Jazz Club. Jazz music is played there every night of the week. The food is excellent food and wine. Some of the dishes are pizzas, pastas, tapas and there are also some signature entrees. The musicians that play here are literally chosen to play there from the area and offer great west coast jazz music and blues. You have to call and book in advance to get a table here. Cuban Jazz Clubs If you are heading to Havana, be sure to stop at La Zorra Y La Cueva Jazz Club. Open every day, you can eat, drink, dance and enjoy the best jazz music as only the best of musicians play here. Dress tropical for this club. Chinese Jazz Clubs In Bejing, you can go to The Big Easy. Modern jazz music and blues is played there. Ted's Cafe plays traditional jazz on Saturday nights. In Shanghai you can go to the CJW. The CJW is the Cigar Jazz Wine House. It is on the highest floor of the fifty-story Bund Centre. The atmosphere is very modern, eccentric with lava lamps, transparent beaded curtains. The food is traditional western and Chinese fusion. Israeli Jazz Clubs In Binyamina, you can go to the milestone. The Milestone is set in a beautiful park inside a Roman fortress. The times are from weekends Thursday to Saturday. The jazz music is played by the best Israeli jazz musicians. Gourmet food is served, and there is also an amphitheatre. If you are in Haifa, go to the Hottentot. Performances are just about every single day. The atmosphere is laid-back, there's good food, drinks and a gallery. French Jazz Clubs I had to save the best clubs for last. French jazz clubs. The French are serious when it comes to jazz music. All kinds of jazz music is played from standard to amateur. There are many, many jazz clubs here. Quite a few American jazz musicians chose to live there permanently or temporarily and have enhanced their lives all around. Here is a couple of the best jazz clubs in France. In Paris 4th, there is Franc Pinot. Those that love swing and bebop music should come here. This club has natural acoustics, and is located in the heart of Paris. Times are from 7p.m. to 9p.m., but it depends on who is playing for the night. In the 15th, there is Jazz Club Lionel Hampton where the best bands and artists play contemporary jazz. If you want to enrich your spirit, go travel to other places to appreciate jazz music. Jazz Music Today Jazz music has evolved to the point where basic signature of the style has minimized into an influential element. For example, the Jazz music of the 80's electronica music of IDM which stand for Intelligent Dance Music where such artists like Bjourk is known for. The drum and bass is another form of electronica that does not use the typical improvisation that is one of the key elements of Jazz music. In fact, this is not thought of as Jazz music at all, but a style that was influenced by Jazz music. Musicians of the electronica age were St. Germain, Jazzanova, Portishead, Apex Twin and more who used live Jazz music to beats. The Cinematic Orchestra and Julien Lourau from Europe's France were very successful with this style of music. However, those musicians who master keeping the traditional Jazz music combined with new elements are the most loyal to the style from which it came. In the millennium, Jazz elements became a part of the American Pop scene with the artist Norah Jones, and Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse. There are skeptics who do not believe the music should be called Jazz. However, Christina Aguilera's Back To Basics album used Jazz brass instruments with urban beats. Jazz music according to the National Public Radio filed a report stating that the music is becoming more popular with the public regarding the interest of the buyers of jazz music. Rhythm and Blues music is a product of Jazz music that describes funk and soul. The musicians who successfully made their mark with this sound of jazz, boogie-woogie gospel, bebop and blues reinvented R&B into contemporary styles. Artist such as Robert Palmers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Keith Sweat, Mariah Carey, En Vogue, Guy, Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Levert, Teddy Riley, Justin Timberlake, Aaliyah, Missy Elliot, Lauren Hill, Brian McKnight, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are a few of the many people who've made this music popular. Later on Pop artist like Pink, Britney Spears and Gwen Stephani used R&B musical elements in their songs. The wheel of the evolvement of Jazz music keeps turning into new styles, yet turns back at different times toward the root where it began. Those who were in favor of the traditional Jazz music feared that the essence of Jazz music would be lost among all the new innovations. Free thinking in the world of Jazz caused a division between the modernist and traditionalist. The world of Jazz music has changed to the point where Jazz once the leader turned into an element included in today's works of art. Nevertheless, nothing in the traditional Jazz music has changed, but the radios have extended their repertoire to include all the styles of music with jazz elements. The array of Jazz music is present in the Jazz fests who played music with African elements that did not sound like Jazz music. One thing we all should look out for is the musical elements in Jazz that stand out such as the complex rhythm, and the chromatic chordal harmony or chord progressions typical for the Jazz Music.
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