A youth-driven jazz revival has taken hold all over the country fueled by über-talented, emerging artists, among them: Trombone Shorty – New Orleans, Esperanza Spalding – Oregon, The Hot Sardines – New York and Paris, Aaron Diehl – New York, Etienne Charles and not least of all, NOLA’s trumpeter Jon Batiste aka the bandleader on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show.”
Receiving both undergrad and grad degrees from New York’s esteemed Julliard School of Music, Batiste has performed with Prince, Lenny Kravitz and Wynton Marsalis. Born into the New Orleans jazz family featured on the HBO series “Treme”, 29-year-old Jon began performing at age 8, and released two albums by 17.
Still in his 20’s Etienne Charles has recorded three albums on his own Culture Shock label. His rich mix of influences may be indicative of the broad scope of today’s modern jazz geniuses: Trinidadian Afro-Caribbean calypso, voodoo to rock steady, reggae, belair, kongo, Motown and R&B.
With a Parisian singer and American musicians, the cultish Hot Sardines combine performance with 1920s-inspired jazz that makes their videos sizzle and fans clamor for more. The immediacy and authenticity of live music powers jazz for younger audiences. Doing everything they can to engage their fan base, and creating vivid visual appeal in videos, these young jazz musicians eclipse more traditional jazz concerts, where the audience passively listens.
Says Will Friedwalk, NY Jazz correspondent for the “Wall Street Journal,” “Hot Jazz is so prevalent now that New York has almost become like New Orleans … I can go hear a 20s-style band, …with musicians born well after 1980, playing … virtually every night of the week.”
Twins Peter and Will Anderson, aged 26, play clarinet and saxophone regularly with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”) since 2007, their sophomore year at Juilliard School of Music. Will says “Knowing early jazz is essential to being able to play the music of any period.”
Jazz jam sessions are sprouting up all over the country: “Every other major city has open jazz sessions like this, and I think Charleston should have one, too,” says young musician Matt Dobie, who has established Charleston Trading Eights, new jazz residency at Redux Contemporary Art Center that will function as an open local jam every few months.
Hot Jazz-reads are available at amazon.com. Click on title to order.
The Jazz Artist’s Survival Guide
by Greg Pasenko
The Future of Jazz
by Will Friedwald, Ted Gioia, Jim Macnie, Peter Margasak, Stuart Nicholson, Ben Ratliff, John F. Szwed, Greg Tate, Peter Watrus and K. Leander Williams
Jon Batiste Teaches You How To Jazz
Behind the Scenes of Mark Seliger’s “Jazz on the Loose”
Vanity Fair Photo Shoot. Jazz’s freshest faces explain that their art form is all about taking risks, making people dance, and that oh-so-important element-of-surprise.
French Quarter Festival 2016 Interview: Trombone Shorty & the New Breed Brass Band:
Hot Sardines Video-Running Wild
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