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Cicily R Janus

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The New Face of Jazz
by Cicily R Janus   

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The New Face of Jazz

An intimate look at the state of culture and jazz in America written solely through the voices of today's best jazz musicians.

 Book comes out in the Fall of 2010 through Random House/Crown/Watson-Guptil books!  Look for it soon.  Meanwhile, sign up for the New Face of Jazz mailing list:

Foreword As Told to the Author by: Arturo Sandoval

Jazz is not dead. Rather, it is the best art form created in and by this country and will remain as such. People who display this kind of mentality should change their attitude. This isnít a matter of the art dying; itís a matter of their own soul dying. And if they donít get it, then thereís nothing I can do for them. Theyíre the only ones who can fix it.

We all have this bit of sadness in us, but I consider myself lucky. Iíve dedicated my life with passion and love to the trumpet and since the beginning Iíve taken this very seriously. Itís not a joke or hobby, this is my life. As musicians, we love music and our instruments and because we speak the language of jazz we approach ideas and emotions differently. The way we display love varies just as those who speak any other foreign language. But we have a choice in the way we approach this. As a group, we must make this language more attractive and interesting. Itís more than just music; itís an inflection in tone, a dialect. You have to hear it to describe it.

Diversity has to be offered in terms of how itís learned. To teach this language is difficultÖvery difficult. No. Itís impossible. All day long, you must listen and listen and listen. Then the feeling must be incorporated into your soul, making it a part of your mentality just as you would with any new language. But donít copy it. Artists do not copy. This is not playing jazz. Instead, you have to learn the philosophy, the approach, the style, the method.

People criticize me, they say I fail to imitate Miles, Freddie, etc. But you know, the reality is thisÖIím never going to sound or play like them. We come from completely different worlds. Our personalities, our realities in life are too different to compare. This is what Jazz is. Itís unique to the person and their soul.
Yet, what is heard from the media, the radioÖis terrible. Whatís happened to International Association of Jazz Educators is horrible. We should protest when budget cuts in the schools eliminate programs.

Despite this, I believe music is everywhere. Itís completely up to you to find yourself in it. If you have the dedication and make the effort to find it, you will. Just incorporate the tradition and legacy into your blood. The only things you need are the two holes in your nose to breathe in the music into your lungs and feelings. This is when the desire to listen and play will come to you.

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