Jazz is back and it’s live and kicking… Did I say kicking? No, I mean live and learning. From every corner of the world there seems to be a new focus on jazz education. From Vancouver’s jazz festival offering many free educational interactions, all the way to a growing University in Cancun, Mexico, who would have thought that jazz education would be the link to keeping this amazing form of music alive. Of course you’ve got to remember, the best jazz fans are usually jazz musicians. So if we want to curate more Jazz Lovers in the future we need to educate our new generations. Programs are even starting at the high school level to prepare students who want to start studying music to open their “ears” to the different sounds of jazz harmony. The work that Berklee High School Jazz Festival has been doing for years now is really quite incredible, hosting more than 3000 high school jazz musicians to come together and experience first hand performance technique and developing a love for this art form. We have artist greats like Tony Bennet creating new schools as well, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts using their fame and resources to encourage young artists to seek out real careers in jazz music and not just see it as a hobby or a career field for hungry starving musicians. This is wonderful, I remember how uncertain my own family was when I told them that all I wanted to do with my life was sing. Being a musician is not really considered one of the most secure or lucrative careers but if we have the support and example from artists like Tony Bennet we open our minds to the possibilities of success in these fields.
I am very excited about these new possibilities and the direction that Jazz is taking for the future. Lets hope this trend continues and this great art form grows and prospers well into the future.