Jazz music is not a dying music genre. Jazz is a diverse musical art form that expands across different cultures and influences. Some of the styles of jazz are traditional, bebop, Dixieland, Latin and smooth jazz. Jazz music can be heard from the Bay Area to Chicago and as far as London.
It seems as if jazz is not considered to be mainstream in the commercial radio industry. Jazz is rarely featured on live television programs. I often hear smooth jazz playing in shopping malls but not being played on any local radio stations. Occasionally there is jazz music featured in local parks around my local city. But what happened to the local jazz radio stations? It seems as if jazz radio has been transported to online radio. Hip hop music still dominates the airwaves.
I played the clarinet in high school where I first discovered jazz music. I became more passionate about art of jazz music as a college student. Jazz music needs to be featured more nationally to preserve its rich cultural heritage and to influence younger musicians. There are great jazz musicians who need more exposure and to be heard.
Jazz needs to be featured more on live television. The Grammy awards and the BET awards are the most popular award shows televised. Both award shows feature a variety of music genres. The Grammys often host a pre-award ceremony. A jazz musician may get awarded at the pre-show but is kept out of the spotlight to perform on the live show. However, it was a historic moment at the 2008 Grammys when jazz renowned pianist Herbie Hancock was awarded the album of the year. It was his first Grammy award for his album called River: the Joni letters.
Another rising star is the 2011 Grammy award winning bassist Esperanza Spalding. She won for best new artist, best jazz vocal album and best instrumental arrangement accompanying vocalist. She defeated teen pop artist Justin Bieber and rapper Drake for best new artist. Esperanza Spalding is a talented musician who has broken down barriers of the commercial radio industry. She has proven that a jazz musician can excel in the industry by staying true to her passion and to the beauty of the music. She has built her reputation as a jazz musician who is committed to the art of jazz and not the superficial sexy images displayed in mainstream commercial radio.
Hopefully more live jazz music performances will get featured at the Grammys and will not remain out of the spotlight. I would love to see televised an all jazz awards show to honor all jazz music. That would be groundbreaking and it is necessary to be honored.
Jazz music will always be alive and never die. It may not be popular in commercial radio but it will never be a dying art form. Jazz is good for your soul. One must understand its beautiful fundamental essence to appreciate it.
(Study jazz and other music genres at Katy’s award-winning music studio…The Conservatory of Music at North Katy! Enjoy fantastic jazz piano lessons in Katy with our instructors!)