All That Jazz

Jazz n.-A style of music, native to America, characterized by a strong but flexible rhythmic understructure with solo and ensemble improvisations on basic tunes and chord patterns and, more recently, a highly sophisticated harmonic idiom.

Epiphany n.-An overrated Alicia Keys wannabe falsely parading as a jazz musician.

I am an avid (not advocate, Shanequa) jazz listener and musician. I have been listening to jazz since I was a toddler, so naturally I was excited when I heard that the Program Council was holding a jazz concert on campus. So, I show up on Tuesday and am shocked and appalled at what the PC has selected as “jazz.” I think that jazz is a great way to honor Black History. Jazz is a purely American, 100% made in the U.S.A. art form that has gained world-wide acceptance.

Furthermore, it was largely pioneered by black musicians.

I shudder to imagine what Jellyroll Morton, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Miles Davis or Wynton Marsalis would say if they heard what students at SHSU believe that jazz is. Jazz as an art form is already struggling and its terrible for it to be diluted even more by people’s ignorance.

Program Council, the next time you want jazz, come to the School of Music where real, live jazz musicians are ready and willing to play gigs.

I promise it’s like nothing you’ve ever heard. They are the ones perfecting their craft. They are the ones who continue the jazz tradition. “Neo-soul” is not jazz. Neither is Kenny G.

Most Sincerely,


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