One of my dreams is hearing a live jazz band on the streets of New Orleans. All of my friends who have experienced this tell me that there is a subtle but incredibly distinct difference between hearing something on a disc and seeing it live. Additionally, there is an added meaning to hearing music from its actual birthplace.
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New Orleans has always been considered the "birthplace" of jazz. It was where Eastern Africans incorporated their sensual beats with the rather rigid conformity of European music. Jazz was born from two different parents, and what a child it was! Not only did it introduce a new level of sound but completely broke the boundaries between interracial and gender relations. Whites and blacks were seen grooving to the same sound, and women suddenly were encouraged to dance with men. It was an exciting period, an age of rebellion. Sometimes I find it funny how younger adults claim jazz to be the music of the old when it really should be likened to what rap or hip-hop is today. It was something new and dangerous at the time. In fact, it was considered to be highly dangerous when it was born.
Hearing this all in its homeland is a dream I will soon fulfill. As cliché as this sounds, I truly believe that the spirit of music does linger in the place where it began. To be sure, hearing a live jazz band anywhere is thrilling, but I do not doubt that there is something brilliant about hearing it on the streets where it all began.
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