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Why Jazz Music Is Dying

Carolyne Bor is an architect. She also enjoys music, art, travel, and fashion.


The Beauty of Jazz

Personally, I am passionate about music, including jazz and blues. But this article is more about jazz. Well, I know it originated from the late centuries, but its most beautiful aspect is how expressive it is. No one just wakes up and decides to sing jazz. You have to feel it; you have to have had the urge to express yourself through it. It is a major form of expression with a deepness that most people do not understand. Most of the composition and arrangement is mainly instrumental and less lyrical.

Everytime a jazz band plays, the instrumentalists lose themselves in the music and end up creating a different arrangement each time hence a new composition almost every single time."Jazz is about being in the moment" Herbie Hancock. I mean, who does not enjoy something creative? Imagine listening to a different composition and arrangement every single time! It gets infectious. You want to listen to it more and more. You start getting what the message is, lyrically, because of listening to it over and over again. You end up getting addicted. Then comes the part where you want everyone around you to listen to it, and that where it gets disappointing; when no one does!

Everyone who appreciates Jazz, and those who not, should listen to Ryan Gosling talk about it in La la land. I don't know about his love for Jazz, but at least I know that he can act like he loves it, like he has a passion for it, like he enjoys listening to it.

Jazz is about being in the moment.

— Herbie Hancock


The Death of Jazz

Most people may argue that it is not dying, but I beg to differ. Well, there was once a time when Jazz was the cool music, it still is, but once you ask a friend if they know any jazz musician, he or she shrugs as if jazz is a myth. You know, something that USED to be mentioned.

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Some companies like Safaricom in Kenya try to come up with annual events like "Safaricom Jazz Festival" which attracts a multitude of people from different backgrounds. Sad to mention but most of these people attend these functions with the aim of socializing, which is a great one, but the main aim is to appreciate the jazz tones, to feel what the saxophonist is trying to explain by their body expressions, the squinting of the eyes you would think he is trying to look at something so far away, the curving of the mouth as he is trying to blow air, the dexterity of his fingers on the saxophone. The expression might give you the impression that the instrumentalist is either very peaceful he gets to a point he closes his eyes or he might look like he is feeling so much pain. If you don't understand him, you might think he is undergoing a certain transition.And is till don't believe people don't find this hot!

Reasons Why Jazz Is Dead:

  1. Most of the younger generation do not appreciate the authenticity and deepness of Jazz. The ignorance and curiosity of wanting to understand this amazing musical expression are dead in this generation and hence cannot be passed on to future generations. That is why you find most people who listen to it are either old folks or young people with an old soul.
  2. The pop culture has greatly affected its death. The music technology of the 21st century has brought about an electric pop genre that most people prefer especially in club nights.
  3. The myth that it is for the oldies. Most young people attribute this music to be old and for old folks.
  4. It is not widely broadcasted. Most radios and televisions do not play jazz as they consider it to be old-fashioned and not suitable for the current generation.
  5. Most events that celebrate jazz, i.e., Safaricom Jazz Festival in Kenya are relatively high priced for the common people, and therefore most people do not consider it essential.

I believe the best solution to reviving the Jazz tradition is to make it more available to the younger generation. They say the main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth. The same applies to Jazz. If we want its revival, we have to educate the young ones about it who will then educate the next generation.

What do you think?

Jim on January 07, 2019:

There is a certain irony in an article about Jazz Dying being contributed to by modern technology, when the article itself wasn't proofread or was robo written with help from a computer. Which is exactly the point.. Nobody takes the time or effort to do things correctly anymore.

Jazz music is a craft as well as an Artform. And it takes a lot of time and effort to learn how to listen so that you can play. It's not easy pop music. Pop music is popular precisely because it's so easy.

Mark on May 09, 2018:

I respectfully beg to differ with you. In the past 10 yrs or so, I have personally witnessed sold out concerts for jazz artists; university jazz festivals that bring in jr high and high school bands packed with young talent and enthusiasm. But moreover, I have witnessed people of all ages that find themselves drawn to this music upon hearing it, maybe not fully comprehending its power and passion, but feeling it is speaking to them in a very unique way. Jazz will never die. It is a uniquely American music with future artists and purveyors in our young people.

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