The Improvised History of Jazz

America says Jazz is its gift to the world, the truth however is the other way round. If Jazz is the art of musical improvisation, then it has been around for far longer than the two hundred odd years since America was born out of captain Christopher Columbus' navigational error. Indian classical music for example, is all about improvised music and has a history of over two thousand years. Likewise, almost every country in the world has a tradition of improvised music in various forms.

Credit goes to America for merely coining a new name for a continuously evolving form of music that has always been around since Friday night pan flute parties at the garden of Eden. So the next time you listen to Voice of America's Jazz hour, just remember you are actually listening to the 'Voice of the World' with Uncle Sam broadcasting our music as a gift to us!

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Colin D’Cruz (Guest Writer)'

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