Happy International Jazz Day 2020… In the spirit of Jazz, let’s all give peace, diplomacy and hope a chance.
A year ago, on 30th April 2019, Kinda Blue opened its doors in the city of Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the International Jazz Day 2019, joining the ranks with other Jazz clubs and venues all over the world to celebrate this significant day. Today the world is different. Covid-19 has shown that we are fragile and we are frightened. Our vulnerabilities exposed, boundaries, languages and cultures do not matter. The world will never be the same.
Since 2011, the UNESCO International Jazz Day has been celebrated on 30th April of each year in more than 180 cities all over the world with live music, forums and live streams. We come together on International Jazz Day to cooperate and share a common goal. Freedom and liberty, which are the roots of Jazz.
Albert Einstein said , ‘Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in Freedom,’ while for Martin Luther King Jr., ‘ Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed,’ and Mahatma Gandhi talking about freedom said ‘Freedom is not worth having, if it does not include the Freedom to make mistakes’. The spirit of Jazz embodies all of these.
Jazz is restless. Thanks to technology and social media. Everywhere around the world, jazz musicians and jazz lovers are posting and sharing their music via You Tube and Facebook etc., to keep the spirit of Jazz alive. Everybody wants to do good!
‘Jazz does not belong to one race or culture. It’s a gift that America gave the world’-Ahmad Alaadeen
From Buddy Bolden and Louis Armstrong to Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Roy Aldridge, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Ahmad Jamal to Wyane Shorter, Herbie Hancock, John Beasley, Eric Wyatt to Candy Dulfer, Keiko Matsui, Hiromi, Lao Tizer, Chieli Minucci, Wynton Marsalis to Damon Brown to Win Pongsakorn (Outstanding Jazz Soloist, Student Awards – Downbeat 2020) and thousands of other jazz musicians, jazz composers, jazz educators, jazz writers, jazz club owners, jazz festival organisers and jazz lovers, Jazz as an art form has transcended time and boundaries.
Like humanity, it has evolved and adapted. Through the Great Depression, two World Wars, the Cold war, numerous other wars and battles, the Berlin wall, famine, droughts, economic and financial crises, Jazz has survived and crossed cultures and languages. Jazz is now played in every city and country and reflects a culture of peace, diplomacy, cooperation and hope.
‘Regardless of what you play, the biggest thing is keeping the feel going’.– Wes Montgomery
We will come out of this for sure. The freedom and spirit of improvisation gives hope for a better tomorrow. Every day is different. ‘Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time’-Ornette Coleman
Always look forward, but never look back– Miles Davis
JAZZ UNITES… WE WILL NOT GIVE UP!
RODIN JS KUMAR
30 APRIL 2020
KL JAZZ & ARTS CENTRE (KLJAC)