All that jazz

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 21, 2016

I fell in love with jazz the moment I heard Louis Armstrong play the trumpet and croon in a recording of “La Vie En Rose.” Growing up, my parents never introduced me to the talented blues or jazz singers like Armstrong, Nina Simone or Ella Fitzgerald—their taste in music fell into the musical categories of arena rock and power ballads.

I discovered jazz music when I took a class in college focusing on the history of the genre. Needless to say, I immediately became a jazz fan and listened to jazz music on a regular basis.

There’s something about jazz and blues. One minute it can be fun and boisterous and the next soft and intimate, shedding light on life’s joys and hardships.

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Nearly two years ago, I got the chance to listen to a live jazz band playing on Bourbon Street. Recordings surely don’t do the genre justice. Listening to the live sounds of the piano, trumpets, trombones and saxophones blending together is an experience like no other.

This region still preserves the history of jazz.

Every year, the city of Picayune ensures blue and jazz music stays alive during the annual Blues and Heritage Festival with performances by local singers like Vince Vance and the Valiants and Al “Carnival Time” Johnson.

Soon enough, music lovers will be able to enjoy a variety of music at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival in April and May. The eclectic lineup includes, Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Neil Young, among others.

If you’re a fan of good music, single-day tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased at

In a world filled with generic mainstream music, it’s nice to see artists honoring authentic jazz music. While Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift’s songs can be painfully catchy, jazz is real and tugs at the heartstrings in a way only jazz knows how to do.