It’s Jazz Part 1
JAZZ AND THE WORLD
You are about to learn one of the greatest ironies about Jazz. The only music that was truly American born and bred Is now far more popular and financially profitable In the rest of the world than It is in America.
Europe and later the Far East discovered jazz through radio broadcasts, recordings and special ours by jazz musicians, who proved to be popular Ambassadors for American culture. (Trumpeter Louis Armstrong was the most famous ambassador of goodwill and is regarded by many as the greatest soloist ever).
Internationally jazz has been perceived as America s outstanding contribution to world culture. In Europe and Scandinavia, jazz clubs abound.
Each summer the best American jazz musicians some of whom have trouble finding enough profitable performing dates In the United States spend much o( their time playing at European jazz festivals.
The famous Montreux Jazz Festival draws thousands to Switzerland each year. Less famous but larger Is the 25 year-old Poro Jau. Festival In Finland that draws 50,000 persons day and night to hear American and European jazz greats.
In, Europe you are considered a musically-cultivated person only If you appreciate both classical music and jazz music.
Jazz was planted in the cultural soul of Russia before the Iron Curtain was drawn. It remains a backbone of. the underground that sustains freedom of expression In the communist world.
In Germany, students study America through, jazz, because jazz is perceived as a reflection of American social and cultural growth through the 20th century. Jazz is even seen as a way of understanding our entire democratic system.
As popular as jazz Is In Europe, It Is even bigger in the Orient and Japan, where the cultures have always appreciated improvisational music. Jazzmen who visit there are often treated on the scale of rock superstars.
The large number of jazz recordings, made In America typically go out of stock If they are not huge sellers. But countless jazz recordings remain generally available In foreign markets – and foreign countries now make a huge amount of their own jazz recordings of American and European jazz musicians.
It’s all part of the development of world music that jazz’s international appeal has helped spawn the development of a world music.