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International Jazz Day 2021

Where in the World Are We?

Jazz is its own international language. Its origins make its so. It’s adoption by the rest of the world since the early twentieth century has seen adoption, adaptation an advancement year-in-year-out.

Born, re-discovered and continuously re-born again almost every decade we’ve gone through Dixie, swing, big band, bop. cool, hardbop, modern, Avant Garde, free fusion, jazz rock, jazz funk, acid jazz, Latin and countless more right through to the contemporary stuff…what I can only call, refreshingly new “international jazz”.

This year more than ever, we’ve become more tolerant, understanding, appreciative and more inclined to experiment with what we listen to. We haven’t been able to see it live, so we’ve been forced to return to our record collections, blow off the dust of CD, find that HB pencil to help rewind the old C60/C90/C120 mixtape cassettes and of course, stream recorded and live music we may have never heard before.

In the last few years, we’ve all revisited and made step-changes in our beliefs and tolerances outside of music as we drive harder to improve equalities, diversity of age, race, gender and ability…and for many of us, a huge element of our tolerance improvement has come from our appreciation of jazz music in all its forms.

Jazz is fast becoming colourless, genderless, ageless, timeless and is now finger-tip accessible to anyone who wants to investigate it

Listen to jazz from Africa, Middle East, India, Japan, Europe and of course the Americas and Australia and you’ll run out of hours in the day trying to understand all the different styles, genre and era.

But listen to any jazz, you’ll realise one thing, wherever you are in the world there’s jazz.

In a form you like.

And in forms you don’t like.

All those naysayers across the world that say they hate jazz, well, they’ve more than likely already made their minds up. But as that well-known non-jazz dude Bob Dylan says…”the times, they are a-changin’”

As the UK’s only cultural centre for jazz, our role at The Jazz Centre (UK) is to show case ALL jazz for ALL people so come visit, get involved.

Don’t just have a great International Jazz Day…have an amazing International Jazz Rest-of-Your- Life!

Written by CEO Mark Kass

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