“God gave everybody a little bit of talent. What are you going to do with that little talent that God gave you?” – Arturo Sandoval
The year 1917 was monumental in jazz history, but not just because it was the year of the first official jazz recording. Some of the most famous names in jazz were born that same year. These musicians would stand on the shoulders of their predecessors, helping to make jazz the most significant American cultural movement of the century. To celebrate their centennials, Pepper is featuring a few of the most iconic songs from these jazz legends.
Stylistically and culturally, jazz music has had an enormous impact on American music, influencing many of the most beloved musical minds of our time. In preparation for the 100th anniversary of the first jazz recording, Pepper has taken the time to ask many of the musicians we’ve interviewed about how jazz has influenced their lives. No matter what their preferred style, they all had something to say about the importance of jazz.
Jazz is widely considered the first purely American musical art form, and with good reason. Nothing epitomizes the nature of our nation quite as well. Jazz is a mixture of the many cultures that resided in the United States at the turn of the 20th century.
Jazz has long been known as the first all-American art form. It is, in many ways, both a metaphor for and an example of the blending of culture and knowledge that has taken place in the United States over the course of its history.
Pepper had the privilege to speak with Latin jazz legend Paquito D’Rivera in conjunction with his latest honor. We were asked by the Jazz Education Network to film his acceptance of the LeJENds of Latin Jazz award, and of course we were thrilled at the opportunity. The award is in its third year, having gone to Poncho Sanchez and Candido Camero in 2015 and 2014.
On September 10, 2015, Pepper welcomed world-renowned saxophonist David Liebman, the latest music legend to take part in our Jazz with Pepper master class series. Ever dedicated to the cause of music education, Liebman shared with those in attendance many insights into his playing style and musical philosophy.
For more than a year, we have been pleased to host a number of world-renowned jazz artists through our Jazz with Pepper series. So far, we have had master classes with trumpeter Roger Ingram, guitarist Pat Martino, saxophonist David Liebman, and the Army Brass Quintet. These classes have been a huge hit so far, and we are happy to say that we have even more jazz favorites lined up for the coming months.
Sharon Burch has always been passionate about music education, especially for elementary-age students. From a young age, she loved music and wanted to bring it to others. Inspired by her own elementary music teacher, she has remained focused on music education her entire life.
Launched in 2002 by the National Museum of American History, a division of the Smithsonian Institute, Jazz Appreciation Month celebrates the first all-American art form. Jazz descended from a mix of cultural styles brought over through the slave trade.