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Since 2005, School of Jazz has demonstrated a commitment to jazz education; in fact, it’s one of the cornerstones of KNKX’s mission as the station’s signature community outreach program. School of Jazz provides mentorship, learning and performance opportunities to Western Washington middle school, high school and college jazz students. Since its inception, School of Jazz has directly impacted over 3,000 jazz students, band directors and professional musicians.

Jazz Appreciation Month: Defining a music genre that's always changing

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New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection/Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
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Louis Armstrong in 1953, he personafied jazz for generations.

Jazz is a music based on improvisation, and evolution. Moving through Dixieland, swing, bebop, free jazz, fusion and beyond can make describing what jazz is a difficult proposition. KNKX jazz host Abe Beeson spoke to three generations of musicians to find a definition.

Michael Brockman, educator at the University of Washington and co-director of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, has seven criteria for music to qualify as jazz. Seattle-based composer and saxophonist Kate Olson notes that jazz evolution is based in tradition. School of Jazz alumnus Jahnvi Madan sees jazz as political.

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