“If music be the food of love, play on.” ~ William Shakespeare
Is there anyone on this planet who doesn’t identify with the power of music? Music is an art form which deeply touches your mind, heart and soul. Irrespective of genre and artist preferences, everybody has songs they turn to when they want to express a feeling, calm their minds or just relax and take a break! There are songs for memories both happy and sad, songs which can lift your spirits or put you in a thoughtful mood and songs which can describe your situation even when words fail. Music is a powerful medium that connects people and offers solutions to many problems – in fact, it is often used in therapy as well as for cultivating mindfulness.
We have so many festivals and events these days that celebrate music in different forms. The International Jazz Day on 30th April is one such annual event, which celebrates “Jazz” music as a cultural and educational tool for uniting people across the globe. The day was introduced by UNESCO in 2011 as a means of promoting creativity, diversity and peace in the world. The festival is marked by a series of performances, workshops and shows in celebration of the genre. It finally culminates in a grand concert on the 30th of every April. This year, the host city for the event is Havana. You can read more details on the festival at the official website here.
Jazz is a vibrant and ever evolving genre that transcends cultures and nations, hence it is a great idea to use it for promoting diversity and unification. This recent, popular Bollywood film had a soundtrack predominantly inspired by Jazz music. I also remember that during a global work event, our company’s leaders invited a Jazz band and used nuances from their performance to highlight different traits of diversity, teamwork and leadership. I myself fell in love with the genre when a friend at work introduced me to my first Jazz playlist.
I find Jazz music to be incredibly calming – it helps me relax and slow down so I can focus better during a crazy day at work. Not just on workdays, I listen to a lot of Jazz over the weekend as well. Most Sunday’s start with some strong coffee, a slice of delicious cake baked by my sister, a good book and Jazz on the radio!
So even though I am not in Havana, I still wanted to celebrate International Jazz Day this year in my own way. If you would like to do the same, below are some quick ways to participate.
- Tune in to some excellent Jazz curations on radio – try the stations at jazzradio.com
- Pick a Spotify Jazz playlist per your mood – New York State of Mind | French Cafe | Classical Crossings | Coffee Table | Romantic | Modern | For Sleep | The Starbucks Jazz Playlist | The Best of the Best
- Catch a popular movie around this genre, my picks would be – St. Louis Blues, Jazz On A Summer’s Day, Some Like It Hot, All That Jazz, Whiplash or the more recent La La Land
- If you would rather read, pick up a good book on Jazz and it’s various aspects – take a pick from this list compiling the top 20 great books on Jazz
- You could also catch the live streaming of the all-star global concert – tune in here
“Life is a lot like Jazz, it’s best when you improvise.” ~ George Gershwin