Why is Jazz so significant and worthwhile?
Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong
"Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life's difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music. Modern jazz has continued in this tradition, singing the songs of a more complicated urban existence. When life itself offers no order and meaning, the musician creates an order and meaning from the sounds of the earth which flow through his instrument…"
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Born in America, Jazz is our indigenous art form. Jazz is one of the first public forums to cross racial barriers and has long been an environment for “equality on display”.
Jazz is heard throughout our culture; in dance halls, concert halls, at festivals, in movies, television, in the foreground and in the background. Jazz is even taught in our schools. Jazz is everywhere in our culture.
Jazz crosses generational gaps, with legends and beginners sharing stages and learning from one another. At our venues, you can see on the stage young and old sharing common songs and a common language in this music. One night, Bob Hammer is on the keys, an 84-year-old legend who played with Charles Mingus. And the next night, Max Canella is on piano, a 15-year-old sharing the stage with Chris Clark, another legend who played with Les Brown's Band, and Ray Price, who toured and recorded with Oscar Peterson.
We believe Jazz is truly amazing when experienced live in a small venue. When you can see the interaction between the artists and the audience, between each other. We believe Jazz is also amazing because it spans generations.
Chris Clark, Brian Gmerek, Danny & Robyn Kolke with local students
In Schools Across America
Jazz is alive in our schools, and kids are learning it. Jazz teaches about leadership and cooperation, teamwork, respect, confidence, the value of preparation, discipline, creativity and comfort in public speaking.
Jazz music can be either highly arranged, and it can also be completely spontaneous. Jazz has many rhythmic structures, from swing to latin to bebop and beyond. Jazz continues to absorb new rhythms and styles. New arrangements and songs are always being written and performed. Jazz in continuously evolving and, at the same time, preserving the heritage of swing and blues. Jazz is a tradition that started here, and it continues here. Every night. That’s big.
A Truly Great American Art Form
Jazz also has been recognized by the US Congress, declaring Jazz an American National Treasure. "Throughout America’s turbulent 20th century, Jazz has entertained, interested, affected, and inspired Americans; it has contributed to, and been a reflection of, American culture."
Jazz is a Big Deal
That’s why we are committed to preserving this American art form throughout the communities in which we live.
Mount Si High School, performing at Hot Java Cool Jazz
Supporting Live Jazz Performance & Education