It has caught my attention that many people in my generation believe that jazz is merely the dancing tunes used by "old people." I must fervently disagree. I recently wrote this response to one of Michael Steinman's blog posts:
Although I am relatively new to the world of jazz, as you say, a new jazz scholar, I do realize that jazz didn’t spring from the bell of Miles Davis, nor from John Coltrane’s saxophone. Rather, jazz sprang, by all technicalities from those of a darker race (I don’t want to say African American because that’s not always correct and I don’t want to say black because it just sounds a little harsh). Cultivating the gardens, at least in my generation, is much more difficult than it sounds… "Jazz is for old people," I can hear my friends say. I must disagree with my fellow teenagers. Jazz permeates everything we hear today, just as the mixture of the blues scale and the smallest bit of classical music permeates jazz. And though I realize that jazz didn’t just spring out of the most well-known jazz artists, it is difficult for my "pupils" to understand this crucial fact. Benny Goodman did not begin swing, he merely made it popular. Dixieland isn’t exclusive to Bob Crosby, nor is the dance tune only Glenn Miller’s. But once they get stuck on one way of thinking, good luck in changing their minds….
I have another thought to add to this: yes, jazz is even in Justin Bieber's squeaking. Listen to the chord progressions(if you don't know what this means, please go learn music theory) and the occasionally implied beat, even though this is hard to hear through the shrill soprano voice this boy seems to possess. And even with these similarities, those who are jazz drummers will be able to tell you, with a combination of annoyance and amusement, that everyone who doesn't use a jazz drumset probably has no idea how to tune a tom.