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By: Ben Fraser

Holidays are some of the best occasions for celebration, and where there is celebration, there is music. Music makes people feel a certain way and people often tend to feel happy and joyous during the holidays. Mardi Gras is approaching and is most famously celebrated in New Orleans. When I think of New Orleans, I almost always think of Cajun food, the infamous Mardi Gras parade and partying, and last but not least, the iconic jazz music that makes the big New Orleans southern tradition come alive. The food isn’t the only thing in New Orleans that has flavor! Jazz is an American treasure that still lives on today and other genres of music have branched from its strong roots. Some iconic artists who started a name for jazz are Louis Armstrong (a New Orleans favorite), Ray Charles, Miles Davis, and Frank Sinatra. These artists have made some great music that is still played and performed around the world. Songs like “What a Wonderful World,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” and “Hit the Road Jack” are some great jazz standards that any jazz musician should know and the beginner to intermediate student can learn. These songs are so catchy and a lot of fun to play.

Jazz music is played from the soul and often artists will improvise and have fun with their music. Students who learn jazz songs can learn to improvise too and learn this style to help ease anxiety and become more comfortable with performing! Unique chord structure and unique voicings can be learned through jazz music along with embellishment and flare. Voice students can learn the same concepts, but learn to sing with a fuller, more relaxed sound. Jazz is what celebration is all about and when there is celebration, there will always be music!

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