Jazz is a genre of music that originated in African American communities in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Although jazz is considered difficult to define, at least in part because it contains so many varied subgenres, improvisation is consistently regarded as being one of its key elements.

The centrality of improvisation in jazz is attributed to influential earlier forms of music: the early blues, a form of folk music which arose in part from the work songs and field hollers of the African-American slaves on plantations.

Jazz is the ultimate form of self-expression. You have to play jazz with intellect, spirituality, passion, and virtuosity. Other forms of music require some of these but not all of them at once. Saxophonist Stan Getz has said: “There are four qualities essential to a great jazzman. They are taste, courage, individuality, and irreverence. These are the qualities I want to retain in my music.”

Jazz is characterized by the melodies, the harmonies, the improvisations, the skillful playing of the instruments, and the feeling of swing.

Jazz is smooth and cool. Jazz is rage. Jazz flows like water. Jazz never seems to begin or end. Jazz isn’t methodical, but jazz isn’t messy either. Jazz is a conversation, a give and take. Jazz is the connection and communication between musicians. Jazz is abandon.

Nat Wolff

Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise.

George Gershwin

The thing to judge in any jazz artist is, does the man project and does he have ideas.

Miles Davis

Change is always happening. That’s one of the wonderful things about jazz music.

Maynard Ferguson

If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.

Louis Armstrong