Looking back at my early teenage years, jazz sounds spoke to me instinctively and very personally. I remember the sad and happy sounds and really, anything
in between would always catch my ear. Listening to jazz wasn't exactly a favourite family activity but it was all around me, on television, on the
radio and across the unusual vibrant and boisterous neighbourhood I grew up in. To many, it might have been a background noise, the kind of music you
hear in a supermarket. But to me, it was transcendental… Oh yes, I'm referring to Miles Davis’ haunting and seductive endless solos, the charismatic
sounds of Fela Kuti and let’s not forget the delightful, lyrical and groovy sounds of Brazilian Bossa Nova. Heaven on earth it was for me! That being
said, don't ask me to define jazz for you- that would be too difficult. Now, London is a great place for jazz musicians and jazz fans alike. For many
years, Soho was the home of jazz music. Oh yes, I remember seeing Betty Carter and Wayne Shorter, amongst other masters, performing live at Ronnie
Scott’s famous jazz club. Though Soho's changed quite a bit, there's still a fair amount of good international jazz in central London, but be adventurous
and check out the little jazz clubs all round east and north London. No matter what shape it takes, jazz is here to stay!
From Fay, Tutor at OISE London
Fay is a teacher at OISE London and, for our Social Programme, often takes our students for a guided walk around Soho, introducing them to the bars, cafes, clubs and theatres made famous by jazz musicians and the huge diversity of international music and performers who have defined Soho since the 1950s. You can finish off your visit with dinner at the world-famous Kettners restaurant or the Cafe Boheme, and people-watch from a street-side bar.
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