Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes

What is Jazz and its history

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There are some people who have asked me that famous question, What is Jazz? They could be new to it or they simply do not understand it. Louis Armstrong’s famous answer/quote was “Man, if you have to ask what it is, you’ll never know.” That could be true for some but could also be cruel for many others who simply never had the chance/opportunity to listen to Jazz. The constant bombardment of so-called “Pop” music on the radio dial has not allowed many to learn Jazz in the past but now with internet radio, it is available. There are many who are intrigued by Jazz and are genuinely interested in finding out more. For this reason Jazz Con Class Radio was started, the outlet is there and the listeners do have that choice now. Make a project of it and learn more about Jazz and its origins. Begin by conducting your own online search, type the question “What is Jazz?.” The results will expose many explanations and theories that will set a good foundation to further understand. I suggest to pay more attention to the explanations from Jazz musicians themselves.

I personally fell in love with Jazz the very first time I heard it and understood it immediately. I had the advantage of growing up in an era where music in general was rebellious and “Popular” music was not as infectious. There are many who did not grow up during the 60’s like I did and/or were blocked from listening to all types of music in their household. That’s alright with me because I have two great presentations that will definitely help everyone who is having trouble understanding what Jazz is.

The first one is an audio of Leonard Bernstein named What is Jazz and recorded in 1956:

Part One:

Part Two:

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The second would be documentary: Jazz: A Film By Ken Burns 

You can purchase it here or if you have Netflix, you can watch it there.

Here’s the intro:

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"Enjoy, very much, listening to your arrangements. My wife and I have two sons (14 & 11) who think Jazz is 'Dad's elevator music'. However, while we were watching 'High Society' Bing Crosby was leading the band in 'Now you has Jazz', while slowly adding each instrument. Finally, of course, the whole number was really rolling with Louis Armstrong leading the way! My youngest son, Joseph, said 'Dad, play that once more.' My wife smiled at me and I knew this wonderful, American art form was getting through to them.
Keep going, Jose. Jazz Con Class Radio is fabulous!"

- Dave- (USA)

"A site for true jazz lovers, for TRUTH lovers, for anyone looking to
escape the garbage passed off as real music today and experience
something real. Art at its finest, and I listen in just about every
day. Thank you for your good and necessary work, Jose."

- Alex Rivero- New Jersey (USA)

"I just downloaded this app and it's my first (certainly of many!) evenings with you. The music is great but so is the philosophy of why you created this space and the visual and functional appearance of the space.
Congratulations, I don't think I will ever become tired of visiting you!"

- Reinhold (Austria/Switzerland)
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