Way Versus What: Jazz

This April, Woodlawn jazzes up for a month to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month to honor one of America’s most iconic art forms.  Improvisation is a key ingredient of jazz.  A living music that expresses the feelings, dreams, and hopes of people, jazz is all about being in the moment.

Jazz is more about the way a song is played, rather than what song is being played.  The beauty of jazz is that musicians can contribute new interpretations and moods to any song by changing the pulse of the music.  For example, a quick thinking musician can turn an uptempo, or fast, song into a ballad, or slow, song.

Another important marker of jazz musicians is that they have their own distinctive style of playing their instruments.  In a similar way to what singers do with their voices, jazz musicians move beyond the basic sound of the instrument and innovate truly unique sounds that distinguish them personally.  A masterful jazz musician has the ability to organize sounds into a wide variety of configurations, expressing a range of emotions on their instruments.  Jazz fans enjoy their favorite artists because of the unique sounds he or she produces; that is, a musician’s particular tone on the instrument enables the artist to strike a deep chord with fans.

Many of the musicians, composers, and producers who created “America’s music” chose Woodlawn as their final resting place.  To learn more about about the jazz greats and other stars at Woodlawn-Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Jean Baptiste “Illinois” Jacquet, just to name a few-click here.