Monday, April 30, 2012

Jazz - The World's "Cultural Passport"

Why Jazz? Because it's America's great gift to the world, a language of freedom and democracy...

1st Annual International Jazz Day at the UN

"From its earliest days, when the pianist Jelly Roll Morton spoke of a “Spanish tinge,” jazz has been extraordinarily open to international influences. Now it’s official. Last fall Unesco — the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization — designated jazz a “universal music of freedom and creativity” and decreed that henceforth every April 30 is to be celebrated around the world as International Jazz Day."  Read more >>

“What jazz brings to the table is collective improvisation and tolerance, respect and freedom, and when you mix that up with every world musical style, you are creating a cultural passport,” he added. “I really believe that what jazz has given to the world is a window, a paradigm of how countries should be interacting with each other.” (Danilo Perez, Pianist)

“Jazz was immediately a comforting quilt to be under, because I felt I was stepping into a brother music and running into people who embraced me as a friend,” he said. “The jazz musicians of that time, like John Coltrane, were already looking eastward and experimenting with modal music. So it was almost like meeting halfway, which made it easy for me..." (Zakir Hussain, Percussionist)

"Jazz at its best is a microcosm of what society should be, incorporating and absorbing what’s going on around us and coming out with something that breaks down barriers and connects people. Would that the rest of the world could do that.”  (George Duke, Pianist)

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