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International Jazz Day & the 2011 Bellevue Jazz Festival

Hey hep cats! When was the last time you dug out that old Blue Note vinyl, kicked back and enjoyed the sound of sweet horns, laid back bass and brushed snare drums? Well, dig this, Saturday, May 28 is International Jazz Day, so dust off that beret, change the needle on your record player and get groovin’.

International Jazz Day was started in 1991 by musician D. Michael Denny as a way to appreciate and celebrate this distinct musical art form and its history. Jazz has been called the first authentically American musical form. Many feel it was born in New Orleans but Kansas City and Chicago have also laid claim as its birthplace and its produced such American icons as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. Jazz was unique in that it blended African and European musical traditions together and while it initially started out as good-time music, it matured during the bebop era of the 50’s and became a sophisticated musical expression with a focus on improvisation and complex arrangements that rivalled those of the greatest classical music composers.
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