“What’s So Funny?” Joining in the Jazz Conversation

by Russ Nolan

Have you ever asked that question when observing a group of people who suddenly erupt in laughter? You want to be part of the party, not on the Outside looking In–don’t you?

Attending a concert and not feeling part of it is disappointing and unfullfilling. Most people don’t go to just listen to a band, they go to experience something they can’t with their TV or computer.

How much about Jazz do you need to know to appreciate it?

Referring back to our ‘Degree Not Required’ conversation, witnessing the energy, emotions, and creativity of a live jazz performance does not take technical knowledge. It only requires engagement—from both performer and listener.  An attendee from my most recent concert mentioned that he felt included in our ‘conversation’ with the audience and that our band shared our love of music with them instead of the superiority complex of ‘hey, we are the (blank), and you should listen to us’.

Seeing the musicians react to one another on stage as if they were carrying on any normal conversation is not a secret, or insider’s ‘code’, but an invitation for you, the Listener, to join in (from your seat, politely, of course…).

OK, the stage has been set. If you have read this far, you have the open mind required to get the good stuff in the next part—I promise!

Part 4

Russ Nolan New York Jazz Educator and Clinician

Russ Nolan Jazz Blog

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