A beginner’s guide to Jazz music

Jazz music for dummies.

So this week, I’ve asked our fantastic intern, Talia Kuo, to create a playlist for us in any genre. Growing up in a household of artists, Talia is no stranger to walking through echoing walls of jazz melodies. So without further ado, here is the wonderful Talia’s take on the beginner’s guide to listening to jazz. I hope you enjoy these banging tunes as much as I have – Vanessa Marian

Our latest playlist

So I’ve been asked to make y’all a playlist that is sure to transport you to the quintessential swingin’ jazz joints of New Orleans. 

Cue: velvety saxophone solos, the beep-bahp-boop scatting we all secretly attempt in our bedrooms and uncontrollable foot tapping.

A quick historical synopsis

So before we get into the tunes, let’s look at some historical context. Originating in the late 1800s, jazz music was born in the African-American communities of the south of the United States. The music was a combination of interpretations of American & European classical music, slave folk songs and West African culture, and was used to lament losses as well as celebrate triumphs in the face of adversity. 

Since its conception, jazz music has continued to evolve; branching off into the countless sub-styles that we recognise today – smooth jazz, Latin-jazz and acid-jazz, to name a few.

I’ve curated this playlist to transcend across moods. The list will travel from the romantic slow dance, cry inducers or energetic lindy-hops. 

The rundown on this playlist

This playlist will take you on an adventure through the evolution of jazz music . We start with Duke Ellington’s teacher King Oliver, then move into the epitome of Big Band music: Benny Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing. From there, we’re going all the way through the ages till Jamie Cullum’s downright sexy rendition of Rihanna’s Please Don’t Stop the Music and Lauren Desberg’s futuristic take on the classic How Deep Is Your Love?

Blast this playlist morning till night and see how your body moves to it baby. Music needs to be danced to.

Groove Therapy thinks of dance as a catalyst for mental, physical and social change. We’re a team of dance and music enthusiasts who are obsessed with learning, unlearning and contributing to the betterment of humanity. Groove Therapy teaches beginner weekly ‘no mirror, dim lights’ classes across Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. For those who cannot geographically attend, Groove Therapy has a series of online courses. So join us, and get out of your head and into your body.

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