Jazz (Festival) 101
Do you have the Jazz chops to talk the talk and walk the walk? You still have time to get smart about Jazz music before you head to Corpus Christi’s Heritage Park for the 56th annual Texas Jazz Festival in October 2016. This free 3-day event offers over 50 great bands, tons of food trucks and fun for all ages.
Throw on your best fedora and start practicing these Jazz lingo basics to experience the Texas Jazz Festival like the cool cat you are.
Blues: While the Blues aren’t officially a style of Jazz, the two go together like peanut butter and jelly. Blues are the heart and soul of the musician. As the notes fly off the music page from either the vocalist or the instruments you can’t help but feel the musician’s emotions. Blues are the root inspiration of all Jazz musicians.
Boogie: Boogie makes you want to, well, boogie! This style of piano-centric Jazz was really popular in the 1930s. If this style of Jazz doesn’t make you want to tap your toes and boogie-woogie, we have to think you might not be doing it right.
Swing Jazz: This is the style of Big Band Jazz that was very hip the 1930s. Jazz legend Miles Davis describes swing as having a quality that makes you ‘feel that stuff all up in your body.’
Bebop: Developed in the early 1940s by the younger players, Bebop incorporated many-noted improvisations which created a more rhythmic feel. Bebop style comes across as more subtle and free flowing than earlier styles.
Cool Jazz: Cool Jazz came about in the early 1950s and really blossomed on college campuses. Many of the younger players that influenced Bebop also influenced the cool style, but this particular Jazz genre is more quiet and understated. You know John Coltrane? He was definitely one cool cat!
Fusion Jazz: This style is often associated with Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Chick Corea and many others. This type of Jazz was a reaction to the emersion of rock music in the late 1960s. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Fusion incorporated many elements of rock into Jazz and focused more on repetition than other styles of Jazz music.
Groove: Groovy… Groovin’… how does one describe a term that is so descriptive on its own? In short, to groove is to feel the perfect rhythm, the rightness of the beat, a centering of the soul.
Hard Bop: There’s nothing hard about it. Hard Bop is basically what the cool kids are performing. With a mix of R&B, Gospel, and Urban Blues, Hard Bop is like Bebop 2.0!
Mainstream Jazz: The new normal, if you will. While sometimes the term implies a more conservative style of Jazz, Mainstream is an incorporation of virtually all 20th Century tonal music. For the everyday listener, you’ll feel the familiar rhythm of Bebop in this more modern type of Jazz music.
Put your new jazz knowledge to the test at the 56th annual Texas Jazz Festival in Corpus Christi, Texas this October. See you there!