I was very happy to be a part of ‘International Jazz Day’ 2016! I was working on a cross-cultural project with guitarist Kieran Gunter. I sang the challenging tune- Pipoca! (Links at the bottom) We performed at Saint Georges Church in Leeds as part of their ‘Weekend of Music”.
It is so great to have a day dedicated to a genre of music that I love. Hopefully international jazz day exposed people to a unique and constantly evolving genre. In the future, maybe one of our UK cities will be the official hosts of international jazz day. D.C was lucky enough to have the honour this time round.
I often don’t appreciate the fact that jazz exists. Really, it started as an underground movement. It was being performed by cultures being universally oppressed, it was being performed by people who were discriminated against because of the colour of their skin. It was the music of people who would not hide, it is brave and courageous and jazz music itself has contributed to the drastic change in attitudes toward people of colour. It’s great when music can be a part of something like that, and jazz is no exception. Jazz is music for all, but with that in mind we must respect it’s roots. We need to remember the struggles that early emerging artists had to face, because if it wasn’t for their passion, it wouldn’t have grown in the spectacular way that it has. Jazz is not music that is easily defined; the performance that I was a part of on Sunday reflected that. It was a great show of straight, head jazz, South-American tunes, contemporary jazz, and most importantly, new and original jazz music. For jazz to keep developing, young artists need to create and perform original works. That’s how music keeps going. I for on am excited to hear the creative music that jazz has to offer in the years to come.