My interests in jazz are:
Jazz inspires me like nothing else - and not just the music in and of itself. It is a different way of looking at the world - beyond boundaries and classifications. It is a spontaneous act of creativity done in community.
I am originally from East St. Louis, and have observed musical divisions along racial lines my entire life, from the inner city of my childhood to the suburbs of my youth I was always disturbed to see something as rich and beautiful as music used to create cultural separation and negative stereotypes. It thus became my mission at an early age to erase these racial lines and find the common thread that will bring people together. Since all contemporary musical styles emerged from the improvisational foundations of jazz & blues – I believe that jazz is a nexus that can breed unity, diversity, and positive communication between people of different taste, race, generation and culture.
Jazz is not simply a singular style or genre, but a creative process of improvisation and communication recreated anew every time someone syncopates a rhythm or improvises a melody . . . a fusion of every culture that colonized America. It is our only original, indigenous art form - and it continues to grow and change as it embraces each new style of music that emerges throughout the world.
Jazz demands that musicians listen to each other, giving each individual an equal opportunity to express themselves as they work together towards a collective groove . . . and allow the audience to swing together in syncopated counterpoint.
Jazz is cooperation rather than competition, synchronicity rather than self-ascendancy, collective expression rather than individual ego. Jazz is freedom - but only within the context of something bigger than ourselves.
That's why I have an interest in writing about, photographing, filming, recording, podcasting, and promoting jazz . . . to capture that essence, spirit, emotion, freedom and groove and share it with the world.