Jazz’s strong history and extremely important impact on every genre is the reason it lives on.
Reporter: Lateefa Farah| Subeditor: Gabby Espinet
The older image of Jazz, that being of Cuban cigars, old men in suit and ties, doesn’t seem to fit the scene in the generation that’s starting to bring it back.
London is known for its vast range of music genres and environments, and does a very good job of bringing it together. But, what I wanted to explore was how Jazz was becoming a lot more appealing amongst the younger generation, i.e.those who come into pubs and bars in sneakers.
TJ, 20, Bassist for the well known Jazz group Ezra Collective, expands on this:
“I feel Jazz is appealing to young people simply because they are being reintroduced to it. I think there will and have always been genuine young fans of jazz but they just weren’t exposed to the music. When I was younger I definitely saw Jazz as something for the ‘Elite’ and upper class and not something for a boy from Enfield. Now it’s clear that this music is being reclaimed by a younger generation and being made relevant to us.
Ezra Collective is an award winning London based band, that originated from the Warriors UK organisation for Jazz music. Ezra collective is a blend of different instrumental talents that come together to produce different sounds of music, such as Afro Beats, Reggae, and Hip Hop, but still sticking to its core of Jazz.
With the increase of online platforms, such as Soundcloud, Spotify, Mixcloud, and even Apple Music — music is becoming a lot more available for musicians within the UK. The internet world, and even platforms like Boiler Room, allow for all different genres to flourish in certain areas that were once restricted to certain groups.
Another London based Jazz band that follows this resurgence of Jazz is the fabulous duo Yussef Kamaal. Yussef Kamaal is a mix of two guys, Kamaal Williams (Keyboardist) and Yussef Dayes (Drummer). Yussef Kamaal are two young guys from South East London, coming together to create music, their core stems from Jazz, yet combine the different London music scenes that celebrate black culture. The duo have started to creep up to the top of Jazz charts.
The two explain how Jazz in London is making a wave because of the support and the diverse music scene that London embraces. Their project is able to enforce these different sounds, which makes it a lot more reachable for anyone to enjoy. Not only is it about it’s accessibility, but the old school correlation with Jazz of being a ‘Suit and Tie’ setting, as TJ stated has died. Fortunately, the class aspect of music is slowly starting to disappear.
I’ll leave with a great quote from an interview Yussef Dayes had,
“Jazz is about a representation of the time and in this time, we’re at a place where jazz has that energy and people are catching onto it. It’s weird –you get these little breakthroughs. “