Going to a Jazz Festival is one of the most rejuvenating things possible for humans to do. Jazz is an amazing medium that invites creativity, innovation, play, and striving for new ways to express oneself. Participation is a role that everyone gets to play; performers and listeners alike. Tolerance, acceptance, encouragement, and love are present and shared in abundance. People of all sizes, ages, colors, backgrounds, and cultures come together unified around their love of Jazz and appreciation for how it enhances and fortifies their lives.
I’m one day back from this year’s Detroit Jazz Festival. I feel grateful I could be there. When I am at a Jazz Fest, whether it is there, Chicago, Montreal, Lansing, or New Orleans…. I walk around and revel in the atmosphere of diversity, kindness, and mutual respect that Jazz brings out in myself and the people I meet. I am convinced that Jazz musicians are truly among the most brilliant and creative people on this earth. They inspire me to be a better person. At festivals, we talk about making the world a better, safer, kinder, and more humane place. The Jazz world is full of people actively working toward social change that breaks down inequalities, sees through differences and searches for common ground and equal treatment of all human beings as well as respect for the inherent value of the earth and all that is on it.
The medium of Jazz music is a very special thing, something to be respected, supported, and cherished. I find it to be the most complex thing I encounter, a language I feel is more advanced than any we speak or use words on a page to express. It is leading us toward a better world. Listen. Participate. Learn about what participatory consciousness is all about. It will lead us home, and we can go there together. No one has to stay behind.