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Illustrations by Mr Angelo Trofa

I fell in love with jazz as a kid when I realised that the trumpet could bend notes like a human voice. When I became a teenager, I learnt how expressive the music was. It allows one's own voice to speak. Growing up in New Orleans, I heard the traditional forms of jazz which I could compare to modern forms of the music from my record collection. This made me realise how the music could evolve and it stimulated my curiosity for how I could contribute personally.

People can appreciate jazz because of its honest look at life. The music was created from the bowels of American history. When you consider the swing era, you get a true depiction of the time period in which it was made as much as you do when you listen to the more modern and groundbreaking period of the 1960s. Any true art is a reflection of the time it was created, and jazz is no exception.

SOME COMMON MISTAKES


People assume that you need to have a vast knowledge of jazz history to appreciate it. Jazz is based on emotion. It is democratic and everyone can share in it.

You needn't know music theory. All you require is an open mind and an eagerness to experience the sounds of the instruments. Whether you can understand the rhythmic structure or not, the question is did it sound good, and did it make you smile? Just sit back, relax and allow your brain to follow the music.

When at a jazz club, some people talk through a show as if it were background music. This is probably the worst thing for a jazz musician and disrespectful to other audience members. You do not have to be totally silent but try not to discuss global economic policy while the band are playing their hearts out.

Don't go to a jazz concert with the sole intention of picking up women. Although I'm sure there have been many connections made at jazz concerts most people are there for the music. Jazz has an ability to open people up which makes a jazz club a good date destination. Just come out, hear some cool new music and have a good time.

Jazz musicians enjoy meeting people. We love performing and experiencing different cultures. Since the early 20th century, jazz has been America's top export. Jazz is a global language that has broken down many barriers and the musicians are its ambassadors. So if you go out to listen to a jazz band, don't be afraid to say hello and buy us a drink.

FIVE JAZZ CLUBS TO ATTEND


Ronnie Scott's has been part of the jazz lexicon for decades. Many of the jazz world's most successful artists have performed and congregated there, making it one of the greatest meeting places.

ronniescotts.co.uk

The atmosphere at Yoshi's is very pleasant for listening to live music. The sound is incredible and the food is remarkable.

yoshis.com

What else can I say about the Village Vanguard other than John Coltrane played there, along with many other jazz greats such as Thelonious Monk.

villagevanguard.com

New Morning is special for me because of memories playing there with Art Blakey and meeting great jazz legends there such as Dexter Gordon and Herbie Hancock.

newmorning.com

Snug Harbor holds a special place in my heart. That was the place where I played as a kid. They made sure to never serve me alcohol

snugjazz.com

AND WHAT TO WEAR WHILE DOING IT...


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