Jazz is a genre that is, predominantly, linked to the past. Birthed in the early 20th century in New Orleans and the city’s surrounding environs, it has gone from being one of the world’s domineering genres to, in recent decades, a form of music that tends to reside in underground bars and small, niche clubs.
But is jazz on the verge of a major resurgence? After years of being overshadowed by rock, pop and rap, is it time for jazz to finally retake its position at the front of the pack. Some would say the answer to that question is a firm ‘yes’.
The end of rigid genres
If there’s one thing that is set to truly bring about the re-emergence of jazz, then it’s the death of music that sticks rigidly to a single genre. Jazz has always been about blending together an array of styles, skills and methods, and it constantly evolves and changes – not just over time, but during single songs.
This is now a theme that is being seen across the music sector. Artists are constantly looking to fuse various sounds to create something new and fresh because this is not only what grabs attention, but it could ultimately influence other bands and their techniques.
Jazz, more than any other musical approach, is suited to combining various sounds and musical instruments, and so this trend is likely to benefit jazz musicians more than any other.
Big stars showing love to jazz
One of the key reasons why jazz is back in the public eye is due to the fact that big music stars are showing it the respect it deserves. Lady Gaga, for example, has produced work with Tony Bennett; Kendrick Lamar has invited jazz musicians such as Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington to feature on his records; and Ghostface Killah, the superstar rapper who was a central figure in the iconic Wu-Tang Clan, had jazz group BadBadNotGood perform as the backing band throughout his album Sour Soul. Jazz is clearly not dead if some of the music industry’s biggest stars are using its sound to sell their work.
The rise of social media and streaming services
As we have already mentioned, jazz has found itself venturing somewhat underground in recent decades, and that is largely because other genres have had more PR, marketing and money behind them. Jazz has not retained its place in the public consciousness, and so it has struggled to gain new fans, despite the fact that the quality of the artists has not diminished.
However, somewhat ironically, this most traditional of music forms is now benefiting from modern technology. Social media and streaming services mean that artists can reach people easily, quickly, and at very little cost. This is the perfect way for small acts and bands to sell themselves without having to deal with any significant financial outlay.
Fancy hiring a jazz band?
Jazz is, undoubtedly, making a comeback, and given that it is a form of music that is best heard live, it makes sense that jazz bands will begin to frequent more and more events, and will take centre stage at weddings, functions or parties throughout 2020.
So, if you’re looking to hire a jazz band, what should you do? What should you keep your eyes open for, and how can you ensure that, once you’ve chosen your band, you are best prepared for their arrival?
Firstly, you find an act that suits your occasion. Then, once this has been established, book them well in advance. Quality jazz bands are at a premium, so if you want to book the best, get in there early! Also, it is well worth discussing with the band about the equipment they have, and what they would expect the venue to provide. There will be nothing more disappointing than hiring the best jazz band around if the sound quality is going to be diminished because of poor planning.
Want to save money on the booking? Hiring a band from the local area will mean that you will not need to pay any additional costs for accommodation or travel, which can save hundreds of pounds. Also, booking a band that comes with everything it needs to perform – complete with microphones, instruments and a PA system – can save massively on time and money.