One of the reasons I believe in jazz is that the oneness of man can come through the rhythm of your heart. It’s the same anyplace in the world, that heartbeat. It’s the first thing you hear when you’re born — or before you’re born — and it’s the last thing you hear.
There's a way of playing safe, there's a way of using tricks and there's the way I like to play which is dangerously where you're going to take a chance on making mistakes in order to create something you haven't created before.
It's like a whole orchestra, the piano for me.
And there is a time where you can be beyond yourself. You can be better than your technique. You can be better than most of your usual ideas. And this is a whole other category that you can get into.
Jazz is about freedom within discipline.
Jazz stands for freedom. It's supposed to be the voice of freedom: Get out there and improvise, and take chances, and don't be a perfectionist - leave that to the classical musicians.
Jazz stands for freedom.
Don't be a perfectionist... leave that to the classical musicians.
The worst thing about the life of a jazz musician on the road is getting to the gig. Once you're there and playing, it's marvelous.
I knew even if I'm a cowboy, I'm going to be involved in jazz in some way.
Jazz is about freedom within discipline. Usually a dictatorship like in Russia and Germany will prevent jazz from being played because it just seemed to represent freedom, democracy and the United States.
Jazz isn't dead yet. It's the underpinning of everything in this country. Whether it's a Broadway show, or fusion, or right on through classical music, if it's coming out of the U.S., it's not going to survive unless it's got some jazz influence.
Many people don't understand how disciplined you have to be to play jazz... And that is really the idea of democracy - freedom within the Constitution or discipline. You don't just get out there and do anything you want.
My own Brubeck Institute in California is turning out fantastic young jazz players, and I know great things will happen.
Do you think Duke Ellington didn't listen to Debussy? Louis Armstrong loved opera, did you know that? Name me a jazz pianist who wasn't influenced by European music!
Jazz is about the only form of art existing today in which there is freedom of the individual without the loss of group contact.
Most of the international acceptance of jazz education can be traced to the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, and the wonderful program they inaugurated.
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