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Jazz Music Quotes


"Jazz is America's classical music." - Billy Taylor

"Jazz music is the power of now." - Wynton Marsalis

"Jazz is the type of music that can absorb so many things and still be jazz." - Sonny Rollins

"Music represents nature. Nature represents life. Jazz represents nature. Jazz is life." - Sonny Rollins

"Jazz speaks for life. This is triumphant music." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Jazz music is a language of the emotions." - Charles Mingus

"Jazz is very much alive. Everywhere I go there's a new generation of musicians playing Jazz music." - Toots Thielemans

"Jazz music is a style, not compositions; any kind of music may be played in Jazz if one has the knowledge." - Jelly Roll Morton

"Rather than say I play Jazz, I simply say I play music." - Kenny Garrett

"So much of Jazz doesn't have an audience other than music students or musicians." - Branford Marsalis

"My music is jazz." - Yusef Lateef

"I'm pretty optimistic about the future of rock... it will be back to composition as in classical music or jazz." - Jimmy Page

"Jazz is music made by and for people who have chosen to feel good in spite of conditions." - Johnny Griffin

"As long as there are people trying to play music in a sincere way, there will be Jazz." - Lee Konitz

"I feel that Jazz improvisation is the ultimate. You have to create on the spot, the essence of this music." - Sonny Rollins

"Jazz is not just music, it's a way of life, it's a way of being, a way of thinking." - Nina Simone

"Jazz is not background music." - Horace Silver

"Jazz is democracy in music." - Wynton Marsalis

"I love jazz music and sad music." - Fred Durst

"It is becoming increasingly difficult to decide where jazz starts or where it stops, where Tin Pan Alley begins and jazz ends, or even where the borderline lies between between classical music and jazz. I feel there is no boundary line" - Duke Ellington

"Jazz is not background music. You must concentrate in order to get the most out of it. You must absorb it." - Horace Silver

"Jazz is the music of unemployment." - Frank Zappa

"Jazz to me is a living music." - Dexter Gordon

"Jazz is the music of the body." - Anais Nin

"Jazz music creates so many phenomenal figures." - Wynton Marsalis

"Jazz is people's music, a collectivity." - Steve Lacy

"The thing that is making jazz healthy today is that people are coming out of other backgrounds - from rock, folk, from ethnic music. It's changing the music, and for the better." - Billy Taylor

"Put it this way: Jazz is a good barometer of freedom... In its beginnings, the United States of America spawned certain ideals of freedom and independence through which, eventually, jazz was evolved, and the music is so free that many people say it is the only unhampered, unhindered expression of complete freedom yet produced in this country." - Duke Ellington

"I think there are only three things that America will be known for 2,000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced." - Gerald Early

"Jazz music is the power of now. There is no script. It's conversation. The emotion is given to you by musicians as they make split-second decisions to fulfill what they feel the moment requires." - Wynton Marsalis

"Jazz music just resonates with the frequency of me." - Esperanza Spalding

"Jazz: Music invented for the torture of imbeciles." - Henry Van Dyke

"I also like Western classical music and jazz." - Nusrat F. A. Khan

"Jazz music will continue to thrive, possibly in unexpected ways." - Pat Metheny

"Jazz will be the classical music of the future." - Dizzy Gillespie

"Jazz music is a form of accelerated unconcern." - Francoise Sagan

"Jazz is my comfort music, like comfort food." - Molly Ringwald

"Jazz: Music invented by demons for the torture of imbeciles." - Henry Van Dyke

"Growing up, I was very much interested in jazz music." - Jan Hammer

"Jazz music is an intensified feeling of nonchalance." - Francoise Sagan

"I wanted to play some more grown-up music - jazz." - Rick Derringer

"I also like Western classical music and jazz." - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

"I like rock music. I like jazz better, though." - Clarke Peters

"Jazz is the folk music of the machine age." - Paul Whiteman

"Jazz music is to be played sweet, soft, plenty rhythm." - Jelly Roll Morton

"Jazz needs the help. It's the more sophisticated music. All the other music is on the TV, but jazz isn't." - Billy Higgins

"Jazz is a music of great achievements but speed and chops serve a different function in jazz." - Marc Ribot

"If I am playing any music at all it is jazz music." - Ginger Baker

"I love many kinds of music: world music, jazz, classical, pop." - Anita Diament

"I love jazz music and sad music. I'm a sentimental guy. I'm a romantic guy." - Fred Durst

"Jazz is a white term to define black people. My music is black classical music." - Nina Simone

"Flexibility is an essential part of Jazz. It's what gives Jazz music the ability to combine with all other types of music and not lose its identity." - Wynton Marsalis

"Jazz is freedom. You think about that." - Thelonious Monk

"I love music, I love all kinds of music, particularly jazz. Jazz is an extension of America. There's no other country in the world that could have produced jazz." - Jon Huntsman Jr

"I really love jazz, but I will never be a jazz musician as much as I dream. But, I think that the jazz music I love is there in my music." - Laura Mvula

"My own feelings about the direction in which jazz should go are that there should be much less stress on technical exhibitionism and much more on emotional content, on what might be termed humanity in music and the freedom to say all that you want." - Booker Little

"Are you kidding? That's the music of the spheres, commissar. It's beautiful. Like old jazz." - Peter Watts

"Charlie Parker lifted jazz music off the dance floor and into the stratosphere!" - Joe Lovano

"Today Jazz music is performed & listened to by people of all ethnicity, backgrounds, ages & creeds." - Michelle Obama

"Louis Armstrong is jazz. He represents what the music is all about." - Wynton Marsalis

"Scott Feiner is a soulful magnet for the fusion of Brazilian and jazz music..." - Kurt Rosenwinkel

"There are a lot of records coming out, in every field of music, not just jazz." - Herbie Hancock

"You can't make jazz without using certain elements of Latin music." - Jelly Roll Morton

"The way that I got involved with microtonal music was, frankly, through jazz." - John Eaton

"Change is always happening. That's one of the wonderful things about jazz music." - Maynard Ferguson

"The day of the great jazz improviser who doesn't know how to read music is over." - Maynard Ferguson

"The whole rise of new adult contemporary music and smooth jazz was a nice surprise." - Kenny G

"Lately I've been listening to some classical music again, some jazz." - Alan Vega

"I like to listen to classical music... I like mainline jazz." - Herb Alpert

"I learned from my uncle that jazz, like symphony music, was built to last." - David Amram

"I like mellow music. I like some jazz. But I'm not a big hard rock guy." - Gary Carter

"I feel like certain people think that certain styles of music will taint their jazz style." - Robert Glasper

"The public, hearing pop music, is, without knowing it, also soaking up jazz." - Norman Granz

"Jazz is letting everybody do his or her thing with the music." - Percy Heath

"I like all kinds of music, though I tend to prefer jazz and classics." - Erik Larson

"I love most melodic music - classical, reggae, big band, jazz, blues, country, pop, swing, folk." - John Lescroart

"I never studied jazz technically; I just know and love the music." - Mark Ronson

"I believe that blues and jazz are the two uniquely American contributions into music." - Edgar Winter

"As far as I'm concerned, blues and jazz are the great American contributions to music." - Edgar Winter

"I listen to old jazz and classical music, and that's it." - Kenny G

"To me, jazz is the closest thing to insanity that there is in music." - David

"Jazz is like a telescope, and a lot of other music is like a microscope." - Kamasi Washington

"I started in New Orleans music and played all through the history of jazz." - Steve Lacy

"Jazz goes into folk music, into rock music. Jazz is in practically everything except classical music where they're reading the same music all the time, the same way, the same tempo every night." - Van Morrison

"the grace is being able to like rock music, symphony music, jazz ... anything that contains the original energy of joy." - Charles Bukowski

"Jazz music by its very nature is just a conglomerate of a lot of different kinds of music." - David Sanborn

"Jazz has borrowed from other genres of music and also has lent itself to other genres of music." - Herbie Hancock

"Salsa, classic rock, soul music, jazz... all of that was a part of my education in making hip-hop music." - Aloe Blacc

"I usually listen to surf music, not much instrumental music, and when I was younger I listened to jazz." - John Hughes

"Trombone virtuoso and innovative composer, Papo combines the best of jazz and Latin music to create a genre that is unique and wild. He's redefined Latin jazz!" - Michael Brecker

"We all listened to a lot of recorded music, especially American jazz, modern jazz, and that's where our studies were and our inspiration came from." - Evan Parker

"Justin Di Cioccio led a jazz program at Music and Art, but there was no jazz in Performing Arts. After they joined, it became Laguardia School of Arts." - Jon Gordon

"I really like the complexity of jazz, the emotional depth; I feel like there's no other music that's really as satisfying as jazz." - Jose James

"Jazz is not the popular culture. Jazz is in the same position in our culture as classical music. A very small minority of people really love it." - John Corigliano

"At a certain point, I became a kind of musician that has tunnel vision about jazz. I only listened to jazz and classical music." - Herbie Hancock

"I started off with classical music, and I got into jazz when I was about 14 years old. And I've been playing jazz ever since." - Herbie Hancock

"Jazz scares me. I've witnessed so many incredible singers and jazz musicians. Pop and soul music have always been the things that I felt like I could do." - Sam Smith

"Jazz really does try to include everything. It's always been popular music. But the wonderful thing about jazz is its willingness to take chances." - Madeleine Peyroux

"To most white people, jazz means black and jazz means dirt, and that's not what I play. I play black classical music." - Nina Simone

"Jazz music should be inclusive. Smooth jazz to me rules out a certain kind of drama and a certain tension that I think all music needs. Especially jazz music, since improvising is one of the cornerstones of what jazz is. And when you smooth it out, you take all the drama out of it." - David Sanborn

"Jazz is a music that really allows a person to express his deepest self, his most personal self - Africa being the primary source of jazz. Naturally, improvisation and swing are a part of jazz, improvisation being the key." - Harold Land

"I was very adamant about not being called a jazz singer, but now I've embraced it. The way I approach music is through jazz, so I'm a jazz singer." - Dee Dee Bridgewater

"You know, jazz is the mother of all American music. R&B and pop and rap and everything are the branches on the main tree of the life of music, American music, which is jazz." - Eric Burdon

"Jazz is an endless source of ideas, because you can use anything. You can play operatic arias. You can incorporate them into jazz. You can play gypsy music and incorporate it into jazz. You can European classical and you can incorporate it into jazz. You can use anything and jazz it up, as they used to say." - Sonny Rollins

"Jazz is a music that is open enough to borrow from any other form of music, and has the strength to influence any other form of music." - Herbie Hancock

"[David] Bowie went on to make best-selling music - funk, dance music, electronic music, while also being influenced by cabaret and jazz." - David Bowie

"I was in punk rock bands, heavy metal bands, world music bands, jazz groups, any type of music that would take me. I just love music." - Reggie Watts

"For me, let's keep jazz as folk music. Let's not make jazz classical music. Let's keep it as street music, as people's everyday-life music. Let's see jazz musicians continue to use the materials, the tools, the spirit of the actual time that they're living in, as what they build their lives as musicians around." - Pat Metheny

"The basic difference between classical music and jazz is that in the former the music is always graver than its performance - whereas the way jazz is performed is always more important than what is being played." - Andre Previn

"Jazz isn't like pop, where you sell millions of records with a hit. Your spirit and soul aren't important in pop music. But jazz is like classical music. If people like you, they'll remember you and you'll last forever." - Freddie Hubbard

"People are always defining and re-defining music. My style of playing has been characterized as smooth jazz and acid jazz. I listen as I play; I'm not caught up in defining the type of music I play." - Roy Ayers

"We don't live in a jazz world, unfortunately. I think if I had lived in a jazz world, I would have done OK. I'm not sure I would have done great. I'm a lover of jazz music, so I would have been happy, don't get me wrong. I go to jazz concerts like the biggest jazz fan in world. The drag is that I don't play jazz for a living." - George Benson

"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." - Art Blakey

"It takes an intelligent ear to listen to Jazz." - Art Blakey

"Jazz is a beautiful word. I love it." - Dexter Gordon

"What kills me is that everybody thinks I like Jazz." - Samuel L Jackson

"Jazz is one of the least learnable art forms." - Keith Jarrett

"Jazz is so incestuous that it's starting to kill itself." - Branford Marsalis

"Jazz musicians have some outlaw in them somewhere." - Mike Zwerin

"What I came back to is that jazz is a music to be played and not to be intellectualized on." - Gerry Mulligan

"There's more bad music in jazz than any other form. Maybe that's because the audience doesn't really know what's happening." - Pat Metheny

"My other friends are in music relaxation class, which I do not attend, because smooth jazz makes me angry sometimes." - Matthew Quick

"The philosophy of jazz represents tolerance, teamwork and inclusion. That's what America is about. The music reflects that." - T. S. Monk

"I loved music from the age of eight. Jazz and blues. But also Little Richard and Elvis Presley." - Bryan Ferry

"Growing up playing jazz and improvising has had a big impact on me, and it translates into my music." - Stephen Bruner

"I must say, I don't think there's any more challenging music out there in jazz than what we're doing." - Patricia Barber

"Hip-hop is mostly what I listen to, other than jazz. I've given up on pop music and indie rock." - Jess Row

"My father is a massive, massive music fan. I grew up listening to rock, soul and jazz." - Kieran Hebden

"I started to play Jazz music in my early teens. A boyfriend brought records over, so I listened to everything" - Marian Mcpartland

"Blues and soul and jazz music has so much pain, so much beauty of raw emotion and passion." - Christina Aguilera

"Jazz, for me, is a closed circuit, like the term baroque in the world of classical music." - Jan Garbarek

"Gospel music rhythms are not African in origin, although I know that's what the jazz experts say." - Mahalia Jackson

"As a rule, my focus is on classical music, but I love jazz. I love everything, actually." - Julie Andrews

"Jazz of the sort we play is a happy, extroverted music. You don't have to think about it too much." - Chris Barber

"Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time." - Ornette Coleman

"I have a very varied taste in music. Everything from rap to classical to Latino to Rat Pack to jazz." - Jasper Fforde

"My music isn't anything but me. It has jazz in it, and rock'n'roll, and it has an urgency to it." - Neil Young

"I like the idea of an eclectic approach, incorporating jazz with other forms and other genres of music." - Herbie Hancock

"As long as there are people trying to play music in a sincere way, there will be some jazz." - Lee Konitz

"I listen to classical music very much. There's a lot of jazz that I don't enjoy listening to." - Lee Konitz

"My work has been marginalized as far as the jazz-business complex is concerned, or the contemporary-music complex." - Anthony Braxton

"Jazz is really 20th-century fusion music. You take West African harmony and rhythm, mix with European harmony, and boom!" - Christian Scott

"I wasn't very aware of pop music because I attended an arts school. For me, it was all about jazz." - Norah Jones

"We are serious about our music here in Philadelphia, and jazz has meant a lot to this city." - Michael Nutter

"I cringed when I heard myself described as a Jazz singer. I've always thought of myself as a Jazz vocalist." - Cassandra Wilson

"I don't mind being classified as a jazz artist, but I do mind being restricted to being a jazz artist. My foundation has been in jazz, though I didn't really start out that way. I started in classical music, but my formative years were in jazz, and it makes a great foundation." - Herbie Hancock

"Jazz is the favorite music [of America]. It is a type of music invented by [American] Blacks to please their primitive tendencies and desire for noise." - Sayyid Qutb

"Steve Marcus was one of the greatest saxophonists in all of music. He truly was able to unite jazz with the popular music of the time." - Larry Coryell

"What I wanted to do was music, until I was about 16. But it was jazz and rock, never classical music." - Simon Helberg

"So, you know, there are a lot of the biggest records of the year. There's great music in hip-hop and jazz and, you know, and folk music." - Stephen W. Thompson



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