Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month With 15 Eclectic Quotes

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Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month With 15 Eclectic Quotes

Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month With 15 Eclectic Quotes


Jazz appreciation month lasts for the entirety of April, but it’s never too early for some musical reflection. Here are 15 quotes about the meaning of jazz. Many of these entries come from the seminal jazz musicians, but several contemporary artists enter the discussion as well. The final voice just happens to be an actor whose father made a living as a jazz musician. There’s room here for all.

1: “One thing that sticks in my mind is that jazz means freedom and openness. It’s a music that, although it developed out of the African-American experience, speaks more about the human experience than the experience of a particular people.” – Herbie Hancock


2: “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” – Louis Armstrong


3: “By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn’t want your daughter to associate with.” – Duke Ellington


4: “To my ears, jazz sounds better in warm weather and after the sun has gone down. While I will listen to some of my favorite jazz records in cooler weather, it’s the warmer nights that really make them come alive. Something about those sounds and the heat of the night really makes it happen for me.” – Henry Rollins


5: “I wanna show that gospel, country, blues, rhythm and blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll are all just really one thing. Those are the American music and that is the American culture.” – Etta James


6: “Blues and soul and jazz music has so much pain, so much beauty of raw emotion and passion.” – Christina Aguilera


7: “Because the blues is the basis of most American music in the 20th century. It’s a 12-bar form that’s played by jazz, bluegrass and country musicians. It has a rhythmic vocabulary that’s been used by rock n’ roll. It’s related to spirituals and even the American fiddle tradition.” – Wynton Marsalis


8: “I never really liked poetry readings; I liked to read poetry by myself, but I liked singing, chanting my lyrics to this jazz group.” – Leonard Cohen


9: “It is jazz music that called me to be a musician and I have always sang the songs that moved me the most.” – Harry Connick, Jr.


10: “Life is a lot like jazz … it’s best when you improvise.” – George Gershwin


11: “Jazz is the big brother of the blues. If a guy’s playing blues like we play, he’s in high school. When he starts playing jazz it’s like going on to college, to a school of higher learning.” – B. B. King


12: “Jazz is a white term to define black people. My music is black classical music.” – Nina Simone


13: “I would say that jazz is my own language. The jazz I love is sweet and pure with raw elements, which is exactly what the good hip-hop is doing now.” – Amy Winehouse


14: “If there was no black man there would be no Rock ‘n’ Roll. The beat, the rhythms of Africa are what created Rock ‘n’ Roll and Jazz.” – Ray Manzarek


15: “Jazz is smooth and cool. Jazz is rage. Jazz flows like water. Jazz never seems to begin or end. Jazz isn’t methodical, but jazz isn’t messy either. Jazz is a conversation, a give and take. Jazz is the connection and communication between musicians. Jazz is abandon.” – Nat Wolff


Related topics jazz, Music, quotes
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