Ashman’s idea proved right. Many staples students see the importance of opportunities like this, including Rebecca Webster ’19.
“Having the opportunity to play, listen to, and study jazz is important because it encompasses every skill that musicians need in order to play other types of music. Jazz teaches improvisation, communication, feel, and timing.”
While opportunities outside of school are still important, Ellie Klein ’19 stressed the importance of jazz on a more local level within the setting of Staples. “It's important that jazz music lives on because jazz music represents progressiveness. When jazz music was first starting it was really different for the time,” Klein said.
The genre still stands out from the rest, according to Klein. “There are infinite ways any jazz song can be played. Unlike classical music, a lot of improvisation is involved and the music can be played and interpreted in any way.”
This uniqueness is part of what made the Jazz Jam so successful. After a successful, jazz-filled afternoon, attendees left the Westport Arts Center with smiles, excitement for next year’s festival, and tunes stuck in their heads.