Iowa's Jazz Scene

Jun 26, 2017

This program originally aired November 18, 2015.

Jazz is American music. It was born in New Orleans around the turn of the 20th century, and it continues to evolve. During this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion about Iowa's jazz scene in the past, present, and future. 

Music professors Bob Washut (University of Northern Iowa) and John Rapson (University of Iowa) explore the genre's history in the state, Des Moines Big Band bandleader Dave Rezek talks about Iowa’s surprisingly vibrant jazz scene, and Susie Miget of the Creative Music Studio in Des Moines explains how jazz musicians learn the art of improvisation.

“If you play in concert band or play some solo classical repertoire, that’s like giving a speech, because all the notes are planned out, but you do interpret it,” says Miget. “When you are improvising it’s like hanging out with your friends and having a conversation, and you don’t really know where the conversation is going to go.”