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A Music Genre To Fit All Your Mood- Jazz

Music, as they say, cannot be contained within walls. It's definition too is broad and different for different people.

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Jazz
From dance music to a vehicle of happiness, different ways to look at jazz . Flickr
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Jazz  a genre with the ability to embrace varied cultures — has evolved exponentially in the past century-and-a-half and is today a major form of musical expression. But what is it that exactly gives a “jazzy characteristic” to a musical note?

Some of its foremost practitioners, who assembled at this scenic beach town recently, have different ways of defining it. if it’s “dance music” for one, “broad in its scope” for another, and a “vehicle to make people happy” for yet another, the search for what the musical form means to its practitioners remains elusive — and yet it is so dear to them all.

At the “Koktebel Jazz Party”, organised here last month, jazzy instruments such as the saxophone, trombone, trumpet, and piano were played to the beats of different music styles to create different kinds of fusions as musicians from over 20 countries participated in the annual extravaganza.

Jazz
Goa International Jazz Live Festival 2016. Facebook

Jean-Paul Maunick, 61, a founding member of British acid jazz band “Incognito”, quipped that jazz originated from the blues.

“Blues is the music that people played to express their sadness, to tell stories about dire lives. Then it came along, which was more instrumental, more free, the music created for dancing.

“Jazz is like the first dance music for me. Free dancing, where you show free expression. You throw your body but nobody is doing the same two steps. There is choreography if you want it, but most jazz music is about free dancing. The music, dancing and conversation between musicians is like that,” he shared.

Jazz
Jools Holland performing at the second Gibraltar International Jazz Festival held at the Queen’s Cinema in October 2013. Wikimedia

For Maunick, jazz is not just “an intellectual thing” — while it may be true that jazz is a “thinking man’s thing”, it is also a way “to just express yourselves”.

But is jazz all about dancing? It certainly is not, or at least that is how Rajeev Raja, the founder of Indo-Jazz music band from Mumbai, “Rajeev Raja Combine”, perceives it.

“It is not necessarily about moving. I wish to go back to the era when we used to listen to an entire album and keep listening to it. The genre is very broad in its scope and execution. There certainly are elements like swing, but there is much more to it,” he told IANS.

At the festival, there were a group of American musicians who came together for the second time after performing first in Moscow. They performed under the label, New York All Stars.

Jazz
Jazz is like the first dance music. Free dancing, where you show free expression. You throw your body but nobody is doing the same two steps. Flickr

The drummer of New York All-Stars, Carl Allen, grew up playing all kinds of styles but settled at jazz.

Also Read: Kuala Lumpur To Host The Premiere of ‘Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical’

“That’s the kind of music that excites me. That’s the kind of music that makes me happy. I try to use it as a vehicle to make other people happy. Everything is cyclical. A lot of things we hear now, people call it new but it is not really new It has been done before. It’s just a process. It’s always a cyclical process where people are putting together R&B, soul and jazz. That happened in the 1960s, 70s too,” he told IANS.

Music, as they say, cannot be contained within walls. It’s definition too is broad and different for different people, or so it seemed at the three-day festival that aimed to celebrate all things jazzy. (IANS)

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Are Mass Shootings The New Normal In The U.S?

Parents and teachers now have to have these conversations with kids who are in school.

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Mass shooting
Video: Orange Rallies in US Honors Victims of Gun Violence. Pixabay

Caila Sanford rushed to donate blood as she wiped tears from her eyes. She started reliving a nightmare after hearing about the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Sanford, 22, survived the mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas just a year ago, where a gunman killed 58 people.

“This really hits home for me. I can imagine what these people are going through. I’ve been to this bar many, many times. I love college nights,” Sanders said.

It was college night at the Borderline when a gunman entered and opened fire, killing 12 people and then himself.

The shooter was identified as Ian David Long, 28, a former military machine gunner. He apparently killed himself after Wednesday’s attack.

Mass shooting
Caila Sanford survived the mass shooting during a Las Vegas concert last year. She never expected there would be a mass shooting so close to her home in California. She’s now afraid of going to places with a lot of people. VOA

It was the second U.S. mass shooting to make recent headlines. An attack Oct. 27 at a Pittsburgh synagogue killed 11 people.

Researchers at the Gun Violence Archive said there has been a mass shooting in the United States nearly every day this year. The group defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are wounded or killed by gunfire, not including the shooter.

The frequency of mass shootings leaves some Americans numb.

“It doesn’t get easier to hear, but it gets more normalized. It’s desensitized completely,” Sanford said, adding, “I think twice about going anywhere, honestly. Not just here — the grocery store, the mall.”

Mass shooting
A bouquet left by mourners lies near the site of Wednesday’s mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif. VOA

 

Parents worry that not even schools are safe. In May, a mass shooting at a school in Santa Fe, Texas, left 10 dead.

“We are living in a state of fear within our own country, within our own borders, amongst ourselves,” said Grace Fisher, a mother of three young children.

Mass shooting
Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Garo Kuredjian, left, embraces chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team as they pray near the site of Wednesday’s mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Nov. 9, 2018. Investigators continue to work to figure out why an ex-Marine opened fire Wednesday evening inside a Southern California country music bar, killing multiple people. VOA

Fisher went to the scene of the most recent shooting in Thousand Oaks with a sign that said, “Moms demand action for gun sense in America.”

She said U.S. society must find better ways to prevent such carnage.

Mass shooting
Grace Fisher is a mom who is fearful for her three children. She said something needs to change with regard to gun regulations. She lives in a neighborhood near Thousand Oaks, site of the most recent U.S. mass shooting. VOA

“I think that the problem in this country is multifaceted. It’s going to take a multifaceted approach to solve this problem, but to say that guns are not the problem is a total cop-out,” Fisher said.

Also Read: Video: Orange Rallies in US Honor Victims of Gun Violence

In addition to worrying about a test in school, students also have to think about an exit plan if they experience an active-shooter situation.

“Parents and teachers now have to have these conversations with kids who are in school. ‘What are you going to do if this happens? What is your plan? Where are you going to go?’ And they shouldn’t have to worry about that,” Sanford said. (VOA)