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Cécile McLorin Salvant seeks to spread jazz to new generations

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McLorin Salvant thinks her own inspiration carries on to the inspiration she and her band feed the audience. While there’s not a particular emotion or takeaway she aims for audiences to leave with, she does want them to walk away with a “strong feeling” — negative or positive.

“Of course, I’d love for people to leave feeling happy or joyful or forgetting a little bit of their problems, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded of our problems, too,” she said.

Called a “millennial shaking up the jazz world” by Vanity Fair, McLorin Salvant said there are many obstacles standing in the way of reaching most millennials and the average consumer in general, despite music’s power to cross generational and cultural boundaries.

“We live in a time where people need some kind of visual, attention-grabbing thing to catch them,” she said. “I think a lot of people are just following whatever is on the Top 40. Unfortunately, whatever is on the Top 40 is not the highest quality art ... So you have this general atmosphere of young people being fed a certain kind of music, and it’s hard to access other (genres). Even with the internet, there’s so much out there, it’s hard to find what you like, or even know what you like.”

Then there’s the reputation of jazz music, that it’s too difficult, intellectual, boring or just for older people, she said.

“There’s just a lot of things going against millennials getting to jazz, but thankfully things are moving and changing, and people are paying more attention,” McLorin Salvant said. “Hopefully with time, we’ll be able to connect with more young audiences.”


Read the full piece from: Centre Daily Times

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