Jazz and Children

I don’t know if all jazz festivals have a portion of their festival devoted to children or not, but as I have written in a previous blog, the Savannah Jazz Festival does.  I think in general, getting kids into jazz at an early age is a good idea.  Listening to jazz  can stimulate the young mind and inspire creativity.  Don’t get me wrong, all music can do that.  I mean the pure genius of Monk, Parker, Rollins and Miles Davis, just to name a few, is incomparable.

Whether one wants to play guitar or saxophone or whatever instrument they want to learn, it is a wonderful way to to create self-expression.  Of course there other ways of that too, poetry, art and photography are excellent forms.  Ultimately, one should try all of them.   Music though, has an ability, at least to me, to coarse through the body.

I wish as a child, I was put to bed and got to listen to “Kind of Blue” or “Time Out”  for -go to sleep- music, instead of  the wind up toys that played lullabies. I just didn’t know better.  As I grew, I just heard what was on the radio or whatever my older brothers were listening to.  A friend introduced me to Monk and Coltrane in my 20s and I really liked them.  Not all of it at first, there are still a few I don’t like but, I certainly appreciate it.  Then I started playing jazz and I went to the greats, like Dave Brubeck and the others I mentioned earlier.  There are so many jazz artists that most people, unless they are jazz fans, have never even heard of. I think that is a shame.   I am sure there are great ones out there that I still haven’t heard, but I will.

My niece and nephews here in Savannah, are very well acquainted with “Kind of Blue” and some artists’ songs that come from compilation cds.  The oldest is eight and they love “Tenor Madness”  especially the youngest one who is six.  I look forward to introducing them to more of the greats and even the more obscure artists.

Thank you for reading this post   -James

P.S  Of course these are only my thoughts.

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