We’ve all heard that jazz is THE unique art form in the United States. I would say that differently. Jazz was named in the US, in New Orleans, but its roots began in the combination of the rhythm and “feel” of African music, with the harmony and instruments of European music. While improvisation happens in both traditions, Africans often found their own unique ways of playing instruments more expressively. Since its beginnings, Jazz has been cross pollinated by music from Brazil, Asia, and many other places. Some folks say that Jazz is dead. Indeed in my lifetime, I’m sad to say we’ve lost many masters, but we have new blood not only from Jazz families like Marsalis, Coltrane, and Monk, but from the schools and streets all over the US, and all around the world. Jazz has evolved over generations and in continuing to incorporate elements of Cuban (Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo for example), Samba (Jobim, Almeida, Airto & Purim for example), Fusion, Funk, Hiphop, and other music. Jazz remains alive and well thanks to this growth and diversity. In this technological age we live in, many carry a library of music in their pocket. Cars connect to satellite “radio” with computer-algorithm-curated playlists. The reason to listen to radio like KKCR is to hear what you haven’t already heard before and won’t hear anywhere else. I could be happy enough playing Miles, Trane, Diz, Bird, Cannonball all night, but what I really enjoy is a mix with less meat and potatoes and more spice. In A World of Jazz, I want to share both the roots and fruits of jazz, an inclusive music without borders that celebrates the diversity of the cultures of this island chain I live on.