Jazz jam sessions: an ego-driven “cutting contest”, a platform for forging creative relationships, or a bit of both?

The below is an article I wrote for the 2017 Writtle and Chelmsford Jazz and Blues Festival:

In many respects, the history of jazz jam sessions is the history of jazz. The creative—and often competitive—environment fostered in jam sessions from the 1920s onwards is inextricably linked to the development of the music. Continue reading “Jazz jam sessions: an ego-driven “cutting contest”, a platform for forging creative relationships, or a bit of both?”

What is This Thing Called Jazz? And why is it important?

Below is an article I wrote for the 2016 Chelsmford and Writtle Jazz Festival Programme:

Jazz, like all art, is extremely difficult to define. Its origins and history are clear, from a humble birth as the music of the African-America working class, forged in a crucible of cultures, to its establishment as one of America’s most significant artistic contributions to the world. Continue reading “What is This Thing Called Jazz? And why is it important?”