Letter to the Editor: ‘Jazzlike, Jazz-Influenced, Even Jazz-Adjacent’—Just Not ‘Jazzy’

The stage at GDS’ Art All Night venue. Photo by Kaiden J. Yu.

In Margaret Blomstrom’s Oct. 2 Augur Beat column about the performances at Art All Night, the description of Soggy Closet was cause for alarm. Since my arrival at GDS, I have put in place three commandments for treating jazz and creative music with the utmost reverence. The first and third rules are irrelevant here, but any good GDS jazz student knows that it is a cardinal sin to refer to our music as “jazzy” (it is to never be uttered at all). Soggy Closet’s music was jazzlike, jazz-influenced, even jazz-adjacent, but certainly should never be termed more or less “jazzy.”

As I pen this letter to the editor, it pains me to even see the foul word on the monitor from my own keystrokes. “Jazzy” should be reserved for the rayon fashion of the 1980s, the decor of the ’90s Taco Bells or maybe just in reference to Will Smith’s disc jockey friend Jeff. I should hope that in future articles, the Augur Bit editors (one a current student of the jazz program) will take greater care to treat America’s classical music/Black American music/jazz with the respect it deserves and not speak that which should not be spoken. We greatly appreciate all of the coverage and attention, but that five-letter word is the stuff of nightmares and, for this one, a private hell. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Sincerely, 

Brad Linde

The writer is the GDS high school’s jazz and instrumental music teacher. Any reader may email augurbit@gds.org to submit a letter to the editor for publication.

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