Make your own free website on Tripod.com

baltimorejazzine.jpg

Home | HARLEM CONNECT | O'Donel Levy | Dollars 4 Jazz | BROOKLYN CONNECT | JAZZ RADIO | DA BLUES | Michael Brecker | JAZZ PHOTOGRAPHY | BALTIMORE JAZZINE FORUM | JAN SIEDEN | THE YOUNG LIONS | Entertainment Guide | JAZZ ART | DC CONNECT | Classified | MLKjr on JAZZ | Health & Fitness | House Resolution 57 | JAZZ SCHOOL | About Baltimore Jazzine | Jazz Profiles | Dwight Brewster Talks About The Mambo | PRIMETIME UPDATE! with Gary Ellerbe | Jazz Conversations with Tamm E Hunt | The Publisher/Editor | Future of Music | Celebrating 100 Years Of Cab Calloway | Links | Jazz Venues | Jazz Organizations | Jimmy Wilson, Trumpet | Musicians Directory | Baltimore Jazz Legends | Baltimore Historical Treasures | Baltimore Jazz Awards | Advertise | MAIL BAG | CD REVIEWS | Contact Us | CATON CASTLE

Martin Luther King, Jr

On the Importance of Jazz

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,

Opening Address to the

1964 Berlin Jazz Festival

mlkimages.jpg
Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed his creatures with the capacity to create—and from this capacity has flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment and many different situations.

Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life's difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.

This is triumphant music.

Modern jazz has continued in this tradition, singing the songs of a more complicated urban existence. When life itself offers no order and meaning, the musician creates an order and meaning from the sounds of the earth which flow through his instrument.

It is no wonder that so much of the search for identity among American Negroes was championed by Jazz musicians. Long before the modern essayists and scholars wrote of racial identity as a problem for a multiracial world, musicians were returning to their roots to affirm that which was stirring within their souls.

Much of the power of our Freedom Movement in the United States has come from this music. It has strengthened us with its sweet rhythms when courage began to fail. It has calmed us with its rich harmonies when spirits were down.

And now, Jazz is exported to the world. For in the particular struggle of the Negro in America there is something akin to the universal struggle of modern man. Everybody has the Blues. Everybody longs for meaning. Everybody needs to love and be loved. Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy. Everybody longs for faith.

In music, especially this broad category called Jazz, there is a stepping stone towards all of these.

jam.gif

duke007_a.jpg

The word "Jazz" has been a part of the problem. It never lost its association with those New Orleans bordellos. In the nineteen-twenties I used to try to convince Fletcher Henderson that we ought to call what we were doing "Negro music". But it is too late for that now. Duke Ellington, 1965