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Kenny G is not jazz!



Kenny G plays pop instrumental music, or smooth jazz. Some of my friends seem confused about what jazz is: One told me that Kenny G plays a saxophone, and saxophones are jazz. Saxophones are played by musicians, and the sound that comes out can be anything from marching band to symphonic, to KTV sing-along, and--of course--jazz.

It all depends on who is doing the blowing. In fact, it is impossible to define jazz. Even Duke Ellington, when asked this question, said, "Just tap your feet, and you'll feel it."
You say you don't like jazz and don't listen to it? Well, my friend, you are surrounded by jazz but may not be aware of it. Listen to the soundtracks of movies and TV shows--especially love scenes--and also cartoons. (The Peanuts soundtrack is played by a jazz trio.)

Next time you're in Starbucks, pause and listen to the music. Starbucks has one of the best playlists for jazz I've ever heard.

How can you start listening to jazz? The first and easiest thing to do is to listen to ICRT FM 100.7 on Sunday nights, from 9 pm to 11 pm, when I play a wide variety of jazz. I'm positive you'll find something that will really turn you on.

My friend Daniel plays jazz late every night on the classical music station, 99.7.
The very best way to enjoy jazz, or any music, is to go to one of the clubs in town and get the live experience.

The biggest and hippest club for live music is Brown Sugar. One of the oldest jazz clubs (and one completely devoted to jazz) is Blue Note. They have some of the younger musicians on weekends.

One of the newest and best is the Stage, in the basement of the Neo19 building. Different jazz groups perform throughout the week, with a great sound system and wonderful lighting. On Sunday night I heard a terrific quintet. The Stage has my highest recommendation.

On Sunday afternoons, there are jazz/blues/r&b sessions at the Shannon. There is also a jam session at The Pig on Sunday afternoons at 4 pm. Latin sounds are heard during the week and another hip club, Club 75. The addresses of all these venues can be found on pages 43 and 44 of this magazine.

So, open your ears to new sounds. I know you'll find a style of jazz you'll enjoy for the rest of you life.

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