On the second International Jazz Day, let’s celebrate —
1) A glorious legacy of enduring music;
2) The dedication to the art form of musicians and their supporters now, worldwide;
3) The recognition by government officials and institutions of jazz as an entity that will not be silenced or co-opted;
4) Access as never before, via the internet, to jazz historical and present;
5) The rise of jazz education
6) The widespread popularity of jazz festivals
7) Jazz that retains its essence while inviting, embracing, absorbing influences from everywhere, everything;
8) Writing, photography, dance, visual arts inspired and/or derived from the listening experience;
10) Melodies, infinite.
I want to acknowledge the economic forces that keep jazz going, the boundless imagination of the greatest jazz artists and the unbowed spirit that lives in the spontaneous interactivity of this most open, expressive and truthful music. Long live jazz and the culture that creates it. (go to JJAJazzAwards for profiles of each of the Jazz Heroes above, and at noon ET on May 1 for names of the winners of musical categories in the 17th annual JJA Jazz Awards).