By Don Valentine
This is our last week of Black History month let’s reflect on our rich and original tradition of Jazz. It was created from our ancestry in New Orleans during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Jazz emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of the African American gumbo.
Jazz spans a period of over a hundred years, encompassing a very wide range of music, making it difficult to define. Jazz makes heavy use of improvisation, poly-rhythms, syncopation and the swing note, as well as aspects of European harmony, American popular music, and the brass band tradition.
The foundation of jazz is enveloped within the Black experience of the United States, but, different cultures have contributed their own experience to the music as well.
Most notably the influence of the Caribbean Islands.
Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as “one of America’s original art forms”.
In a recent interview Gold Coast Jazz Society Executive Director Pam Deardon commented “Jazz originated from the Black community and then spread globally but, we are challenged here in Miami getting an audience from that base.” She speculates that it might be from the dearth of radio options and other outlets to hear the music. The Gold Coast Jazz Society is one path to find a placation for your Jazz needs. This organization is coming up to it’s “Silver Anniversary”. They annually hold a 7 concert series of some of the world’s most profound jazz artist from November thru May at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. If you love live traditional jazz take advantage of their calendar. Next up is the Ed Calle Latin jazz big band on March 9.
If you can’t make that date, another alternative to find local jazz is to check this link www.southfloridajazzlist.com. This is a great resource for local mostly free events at restaurants in the area. Take advantage of the Jazz melting pot in South Florida. You will not regret it.