Dancing to Jazz: How Do You Do It?

Dancing to Jazz: How Do You Do It?

Crowds all over jazz festivals seem to have inherent dance steps for jazz. They twirl in the middle of big canvas tents and couple-dancing on a plywood riser to the beautiful melodies of jazz. 

Back in the early twentieth century, dancing to jazz would not have raised an eyebrow because it was the music. In 2017, however, jazz is “sit-down” music that is mostly experienced through concerts or at night-clubs with overpriced drinks. But at Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival in May, you may be surprised to see jazz fans jump out of their chairs and start to swing their hips.

Jazz is not like today’s popular music where the beat has become so industrialized it is hard to miss. No, with jazz, the beat may be hidden under a trumpet or drum solo pulling in one direction, while the guitar plays a counter rhythm.

You have to listen with both of your ears all the way down to your feet. Sometimes the tune calls for you to lock on the drummer, while other times it may require you to lock on another instrument. If you have a dance partner who hears music in the same way, it makes things much easier.

If you can do this, you can dance to John Coltrane, Willie Tee, the Byrd, and anything else the jazz band on stage may throw at you. It is important to find the underlying pulse of the song that may be hidden under the sounds of the other instruments adding to the beauty of jazz.

Get to know more about folklore blues and your favorite artists. Check out great blues music at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. Save the date for the 28th Annual Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival, coming Memorial Day weekend of 2017. Contact us for more information.