Jazz: Freedom and Liberty (7.5.15)

In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe, talks about the relationship between jazz and the idea of freedom in America.

He quotes how Duke Ellington describes jazz as,  “a good barometer of freedom.” Ellington said, “In its beginnings, the United States of America spawned certain ideals of freedom and independence through which, eventually, jazz was evolved, and the music is so free that many people say it is the only unhampered, unhindered expression of complete freedom yet produced in this country.”

As we celebrate this nation and the freedom and liberty we enjoy, may we also contemplate the ways in which we still carry around chains, and operate within the prisons of past oppression. Knowing that true emancipation can only be obtained, through the most difficult of all forms of liberation, freeing ourselves from ourselves.

 

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Rebecca McInroy