Jazz And The Past, Present, And Future

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Jazz and the Past, Present, and Future One of the most profound paradoxes that Jazz as a musical genre has spurred by way of its mere existence is contained within the connotation of the word “Jazz” itself. Attempting to unravel the mysterious history of this familiar word is a sisyphusian task due in part to the contested nature of the word, yet as Alan P. Merriam and Fradley H. Garner postulate in their article Jazz – The Word from the journal Ethnomusicology: studying the problems associated with the contested nature of the term reveal critical information on the history of Jazz, the music and the stories of the disenfranchised people who forged Jazz (Merriam, 373). Merriam and Garner establish in Jazz – The Word that Jazz has a foot firmly rooted in the past and owes itself considerably to the experiences of Africans brought to the New World by Europeans under the brutal imposition of slavery, among many other injustices in the annals of history; However, the volatility of Jazz means that the contributions of the past are tightly intertwined with the events of the present, and predictions in the future. In this paper I will be using the model of “past, present, and future” to compare and contrast what Jazz means to different people at different times, and argue that the past, present, and future are tightly intertwined and the relationships between these events make up what Jazz is. In order to make this comparison, I will use several interviews with musicians and
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