Jazz greats – what they say about the music they play

Jazz greats – what they say about the music they play

We celebrate the International Jazz Day!

“Jazz has been the voice of freedom for millions of people for over a century. And, jazz, without a doubt, defines Cultural Diplomacy! Jazz is a distinctly American art form, yet is a potent and persuasive universal and versatile language that has both incorporated and influenced global music. #Jazz values diversity; encourages ethical and honest behavior; doesn’t shy away from vulnerability; promotes innovative ideas; and insists one take responsibility for one’s actions.

Jazz is really about the human experience. It’s about the ability of human beings to take the worst of circumstances and struggles and turn it into something creative and constructive. That’s something that’s built into the fiber of every human being. And I think that’s why people can respond to it. They feel the freedom in it. And the attributes of jazz are also admirable. It’s about dialogue. It’s about sharing. And teamwork. It’s in the moment, and it's nonjudgmental, at its best. We all want to live in a jazz world where we all work together, improvise together, are not afraid of taking chances and expressing ourselves.”
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock

“Jazz is freedom, flight, accepting the truth about yourself, salvation. Jazz is to be brave, to play, to love. Jazz is the highest of spirit, intuition and freedom. Jazz is the soundtrack to love, to the quiet moments of being by myself, to joy, to the streets I walk. Jazz is the poetry of my life.”
Miroslava Katsarova

“Jazz is intimate. Jazz is the art of living. This is simple music that requires craft to handle it. Great talent is needed to be able to exist in the simplicity of jazz.”
Vassil Petrov
Happy birthday, Vasco!

“If it wasn’t for jazz music, I would have been a very boring and sad person. Jazz gave me the freedom to discover myself.”
Theodosii Spassov

“Jazz is first and foremost freedom – freedom of spirit, freedom of thought. Jazz is the expression of the joy of making music.”
Zhivko Petrov

“Jazz is a special perception of the world. It is the style and taste of life, communication, food. Jazz is about being a special person.”
Hilda Kazasyan

“Jazz is a special way of living, thinking, feeling free, expressing emotions openly, beautiful music. A tasty dessert, a cup of refreshing morning coffee, quiet dinner with two glasses of wine – all beautiful things in life can be defined as jazz.”
Angel Zabersky Jr.

“Jazz gives you a place in the world to communicate your experience of being a human being, which is a crucial necessity of the human spirit. You feel like you’re heard and understood by others... That affirmation that we’re all in this together, that we’re not alone in what we are feeling, believing and hoping for, is so appealing and inspiring. It makes you want to get to the level where you can continue to capture that universality and spread it in your music.”
Esperanza Spalding

“Jazz has the power to make men forget their differences and come together... Jazz is the personification of transforming overwhelmingly negative circumstances into freedom, friendship, hope, and dignity.”
Quincy Jones

“Jazz is life. Jazz is freedom. Jazz is love. It is individual. It is collective. It is universal. Jazz is a music with an international vocabulary, that is expressed around the world. It unites all people, regardless of race, creed, or color. Jazz was born out of Black's oppression, as a joyful, rebellious release...a human cry for dignity, that has been heard and embraced around the world.”
Dee Dee Bridgewater

“I believe jazz has no boundaries – a message I am happy to share on this special day, and every day through music.”
Earl Klugh

„Certain music, jazz in particular, has the ability to make you a better citizen of the world. It helps you expand your world view and gives you more confidence in your cultural achievements. Improvisational jazz teaches you about yourself while the swing in jazz teaches you how to work with others.”
Wynton Marsalis

“I know the power of this music and its ability to unite people all over the world. Before I traveled the world, I knew I had friends all over the world just based on the fact that we love jazz.”
Gregory Porter

“I think jazz is a beautiful, democratic music. It encourages musicians with very strong, and many times, very different points of view to work together as a team while, at the same time, giving them the space to express their individuality. It's a very important art form and can be used as a model for different cultures to work together.”
Marcus Miller

“Music inspires one to become more human. Jazz shouldn't have any mandates. Jazz is not supposed to be something that's required to sound like jazz. For me, the word 'jazz' means, I dare you.”
Wayne Shorter

“Jazz music transcends boundaries.”
John Scofield

„One of the reasons I believe in jazz is that the oneness of man can come through the rhythm of your heart. It's the same anyplace in the world, that heartbeat. It's the first thing you hear when you're born – or before you're born – and it's the last thing you hear.”
Dave Brubeck