Fabulous Friday Nights with Jammin’ Jazz… and some random music thoughts…

Jammin-Jazz-LogoAs you are no doubt aware at this point, Jammin’ Jazz has moved to Friday nights at 10pm CST to kick off your weekend in style. I am so happy about my new time slot!!! Not that the Wednesday night hump day dance party wasn’t fun… but THIS is even better. My hope is that this broadens the audience for the show as well, so be sure and tell your friends no matter where they are in the country. You can always listen online. This music is for everyone!

I was just telling someone the other day how much having this show enriches my life immensely. It keeps me poking around for new music, keeping tabs on my old friends and acquaintances, and keeps me current. In this world of too much EDM and not enough real players, Jazz or whatever you want to “label” it stands out among the crowd. Remember when the standard on the radio was bands like The Allmans, Led Zep, Pink Floyd, Miles Davis and the level of the music and playing were astounding? Remember being absolutely BLOWN AWAY at what you were hearing? “How many people are IN this band? Who is that guitarist? What is his rig???” Remember when as a listener you were inspired by the players, amazed at what they were doing and how they were pushing boundaries even in “Top 40” radio play, how the lyrics were speaking to you and saying something thought provoking? I hate to sound like an old lady but what the kids these days are listening to saddens me.


Skerik and Mike Dillon

But then when I get down, I suddenly get some new music floating across my desk and that all gets washed away. CRAZY tight bands like Snarky Puppy, Troker, musicians like Mike Dillon, Skerik, Stanton Moore, Charlie Hunter and so many others are truly pushing the genre forward and morphing it into something it has not been prior. THAT is exciting. That is what makes me want to shout from the rooftops that Jazz is not your Dad’s or Grandfather’s music! IT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW and it is in the moment. And even if folks come to it through the jamband route… who cares how they got here as long as they made it, right? And this silly term jamband, isn’t that really what we all label Jazz anyway? It all fits because it is all improvisational music. Maybe it is not as much in our wheelhouse as others but what “genre” is perfectly in every listener’s wheelhouse?

And I getcha… I find what is filed under jamband not my cup of tea at times too. Sometimes it is a bit too country for my tastes, I tend to lean more towards my Jazz merging with rock or soul and of course FUNK. That is the urban dweller in me. But there is a huge audience for the more country/bluegrass slant mixed with jazz as well. Look at the Grateful Dead who I LOVE… again the Allmans too, that is where that whole jamband thing started. Bands like Phish, String Cheese, and a few others took it further, and then morphing into more electronic stuff with Zilla and a few other offsprings. Even Marco Benevento and Joe Russo are doing the jamband thing when they are rooted with their beginnings in Jazz. But I digress…

The wonderful thing about these artists is that they do their own thing, in their own style, in their own way… regardless of


Mark Mullins and Craig Klein of Bonerama

what is “selling”. And to be honest there is nothing selling nowadays. Hence why I am constantly asking you to BUY the music that you like, go out and SEE live music that you like and support these amazing talented and rogue artists who are on the road 350 days a year. They work SO hard trying to make a living and pay their bills sans health insurance at times, doing something that they love and for the most part cannot do anything else. Especially while at XM I had the great fortune to travel and see and talk to some amazing artists and the one common denominator in all of them was the complete passion they had for what they do. We should all be so fortunate to do what we love as our profession. But it comes with sacrifice and for musicians many of them sacrifice time with family, children, health, home and the security of a steady paycheck. So vote with your dollars folks and support the artists you love!

And speaking of voting, what better escape from this ridiculous clown car of an election than MUSIC!!! Turn off that TV, stop reading the media and internet, put the phone away and drop out of it all with some live shows that you can let loose and shake off that work week!

What better start to your weekend than Jammin’ Jazz… Yeah u rite!





About Michelle

As a regular host and presenter on XM Satellite Radio’s XM 72 Beyond Jazz Channel, Michelle Sammartino felt the need for a window into the even more current Jazz movement. And so the long running program Jammin' Jazz - Jazz For The New Generation, was born in 2001. Running five times a week Jammin’ Jazz was one of the most popular shows on the channel. It features all that is cool and groovey, and happenin' in Modern Jazz right this minute. Michelle focuses on artists that are currently touring as well as the influences that made them choose this glamorous profession. Jammin’ Jazz features not just new modern Jazz, but the marriage of Jazz and Funk, Jazz and Rock, Jazz and Soul, Jazz and Hip Hop - from New Orleans to New York to Chicago to San Fran to Montreal to Europe to Japan and more. If it is happenin' in the world of Jazz you can find it here.
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