25 December 2016


In 2016, I noticed the expression 'street jazz' being used with increasing frequency. Perhaps you have too? But what is this 'street jazz'? Some kind of new genre?
Photo : Guy Hardy
No. I think what has happened is that many good traditional jazz bands now play in the streets, with the result that more and more passers-by are amazed at what they hear and - not understanding that our music has a 120-year-old history - have given it the handy new name of 'street jazz'.
An email I received said: 'Can you help, please? We are trying to find a street jazz band to play at our wedding reception.' 

And the great Baby Soda Jazz Band in New York on its website introduces itself as follows: Baby Soda is on the forefront of a new movement loosely known as street jazz, with an eclectic set of influences ranging from 30s era swing, New Orleans jazz, and southern gospel. The ensemble doesn't desire to recreate the past; rather, they bring the concept and joy of the music to the present.

If you look up 'street jazz' on the Internet, you find the expression has caught on in dancing circles too. This is not surprising, even though it appears that the dancing classes use a variety of rhythmic 'funky' music - not exclusively traditional jazz.
But it really is pleasing that a younger generation is beginning to discover and enjoy our music on the streets. As regular readers will know, I strongly recommend that our bands should do some Outreach Work by playing at convenient places in their town centres. They can attract bookings that way too. To read my article on this very subject, CLICK HERE.