A big thanks to the National Museum for African American Music for inviting me to take part on a panel for their recent Sips and Stanza’s series, “The Rebirth of Jazz,” last Thursday, April 21. Joining me on the panel were my dear friend Rod McGaha and young, smooth jazz artist Marcus J. The interviewer for the night was Xuam Lawson from Fisk radio. It was interesting to hear the questions that were asked and even more interesting to hear our answers! We were the Old Lions and a Young Tiger!
One of Xuam’s questions was, “What about Jazz music intrigues you most?”
I answered that because of the complexity of jazz music, you never stop learning.
Another question was whether we thought Jazz has been reborn.
Our answer? Jazz has always been here and has never died. Just like other genres, it goes through generational changes – which is to be expected – but jazz certainly has never left us.
I got the biggest kick out of Xuam asking Marcus who he listened to growing up. Marcus answered, “Kirk Whalum and Rod McGaha.” He said his mom use to play Rod’s CD all the time. After I thought about it for a while, I realized that the CD Marcus’s mom played could have been the one that I was on with Roger Spencer and Chris Brown called “The Preacherman”!
Thank you to all who came out to listen.