Wynton and Geoffrey Ward interviewed by GOOGLE

On September 5, 2008, The Musicians@Google program welcomed Wynton and Geoffrey Ward to Google’s New York office to discuss their new book Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life
The event was moderated by with Google’s own Jim Lecinski. Here you have a video clip of the interview (43 minutes) where Wynton speaks about jazz, taps to explain the rhythm and plays the trumpet to explain the blues. Enjoy it…

Wynton and Geoffrey Ward interviewed for the Musicians@Google program

Check out more info about the book and download a free chapter in PDF

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  1. My name is Rhonda Jacobs an I want welcome to a special #$!>>&?. LOL

    Peace & Keep Swinging!

    Andre Hayward

    Andre Hayward on Jul 3rd, 2009 at 10:43pm

  2. Thank you “Skain” for being the consummate educator of this great art form. I miss all of you guys greatly and look forward to seeing you all soon.

    Love & Peace,

    Andre Hayward

    Andre Hayward on Oct 20th, 2008 at 7:02pm

  3. Charles Barkley is almost White,has a Caucasian wife and practically Caucasian children,so why does he always slander his own people….Caucasians?
    What has he been fearful of his entire life? I know what he fears most…black african americans!He never fit in with them.Growing up he was made miserable by dark/black skinned people who envied him.They hated him subtlely and openly because of his intelligence,white features and way with words.
    Now he is isolated and happy in Scottsdale,98%WHITE and he is free of the ghetto hatred and total lack of accomplishment he was forced to look at until he could get out.I feel sorry for him.

    Daniel Pitbull Maloney on Oct 15th, 2008 at 2:18pm

  4. Yes I need be educated, by someone who doesn’t know how to spell response (it is not responce), lol. Moving on. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. What ever helps you sleep at night Ms. Jackson. I am never ashamed or intimidated in anyones presence. I only fear God, what can man do to me ?

    And in truth many cultures contributed to the foundation of Judaism, but the largest sect in America is the Ashkenazi Jews who migrated to this country in the early 20th century during the pogroms in Russia and during WWII.

    So they didn’t want to be heard as black people ? Is there a reason why Duke Ellington wrote Black and Tan or perhaps you should read the book

    “By the mid-1920s, however, most Americans had
    learned that jazz came from African-American culture and accepted the
    fact with equanimity.”

    Charmaine Nokuri on Oct 2nd, 2008 at 5:04pm

  5. one last thing and im finished as far as telling me what I sould “be called black”, african american nigger, boy in reference to jess(jazz) you really have your nerve. And Wynton has had more conversations of people in jazz histroy that you could shake a stick at on or off the record. much more education that even Micahel Jordon because Jordon didn’t know as many known basketball players in history as Wynton knows in jazz which he has played with or had conversations with. Probaly many you have never hear of Nokuri and you are being rude. Come to Nawlins and now what youare speking to and of. Tell me the person name who discovered the electri guitar, tell me who was the first trumpet player who scat. Don’t say Louis armstrong. Armsrong made it popular but he wasn’t the first. know your fax when you are trying to imporvise with jazz my dear. over an out I m through with your ignorant comments I just had to educate you all now im going to do another method of imprvisation. Playing some swing jazz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and then Im going to bop it then im going to neo soul it.

    ms jackson on Sep 30th, 2008 at 3:11pm

  6. I know what is in the video here is educational but has some controversy worth discussing. but lets know some basic things of jazz (call & responce)(jess) and heritage and we perfereed to be called in reference of such….. A more accurate assessment of Jazz is to call it an AFRICAN-American creation….this is one way of an assessment but you brand name it with such authority that I question your true education of such a statemnt if you cannot address the lemba tribe, jess etc.

    ms jackson on Sep 30th, 2008 at 2:59pm

  7. by the way do you all know when you are talkin to Wynton(smile) I think not

    ms jackson on Sep 30th, 2008 at 2:37pm

  8. by the way nokuri you not wanting to discuss call and responce at your statement #2 is really a cop out. Know what call and responce is. Please educate yourselves more. you want to debate on what you think you know. what you want to learn and know more of. Like I said Find out about the Lemba Tribe. Know what is call and repsonce. Know what the namme callin’ of Jazz was and why it was so much considered sinful. Debate on jazz in a more way of improvisation then just mud throwing.

    ms jackson on Sep 30th, 2008 at 2:32pm

  9. The orginal black jazz pioneers are not even in print and when have you talked to them to know what they want to “be called”? I didn’t like name calling for any race. Did you All know Jazz was called JESS first you want to go back to name callin’ lets talk about the name callin of the word jazz it self. Do any of you know why it was called JESS??????????????? Feel me on that one. Suprised you all kinda just smoothed over my remarks and went back to your flow of what we would have like to be address. If you knew who I really was You would feel ashamed you even said that. Because I know for the FOR REAL. I smile at innocence! I cry at stupdity. What music was called sinful and why.? Go educated yourselves alittle bit more before you blast out with uneducated brash statements.

    When have you talked to Mr. Ward. Why can’t you address the lmeb tribe in africa those of you who are of the JEwish faith in a time of a beutiful holdiay today and the crisis of aour greedy United states state of mind

    ms jackson on Sep 30th, 2008 at 2:13pm

  10. Oh BTW, saying that I am an ignorant about Wynton and that I hate white people are totally unnecessary personal attacks based on mere conjecture and without premise. For all you know I could be the secret love child of Wynton raised by white people and married to a white man. Plus personal attacks undermine a very good scholarly debate. Let’s keep it civil and CAVALIER people.

    Charmaine Nokuri on Sep 28th, 2008 at 7:15pm

  11. 1) I largely don’t care what ANY historian has to say about anything before the 21st century because frankly the lack of globalization and exposure has skewed views on almost all pedagogy. Proper research techniques and information have been only recently been modernized due to the internet. The white washing of American History history books before the 21st century is a PURE example of this.

    2) You Mr. Lewis keep saying that I hate white people or don’t listen to white people, which is totally absurd. My best professors have been white and I have only had maybe 2 great black professors.

    3) Uhmm my mentor for democracy is Thomas Jefferson and John Locke. As with all government systems, the abstract concept does not match the reality of its application. Again I am not trying to attack Wynton personally, because he is an artist and the role of an artist is to inspire and challenge society towards an ideal concept. As Donny Simpson says if we shoot for the moon, even if we miss we will be among the stars.

    4) My main argument is against Geoffrey Ward as a historian, not as a white man per se. I have seen his biography and he represents the old order of historians who contribute to American mythology rather than a historical reality. Statements like “we Americans created jazz” is totally historically inaccurate since the pioneers that have influenced Wynton and jazz in general were not American citizens by any stretch of the imagination until long after they created jazz. IMHO, it is disrespectful to those jazz pioneers who were largely called niggers and boy,to minimize their struggles to be heard and accept as BLACK people. A more accurate assessment of Jazz is to call it an AFRICAN-American creation. This is not racist or bigoted my any means, since as a historian I have no problem acknowledging that Classical music was created by Europeans not Africans or that Bhangra music was created by Punjabi Indians and not Japanese people. Most Americans have a very skewed view of race and ethnicity again because of the lack of exposure. To be pro-black doesn’t mean to be anti-white. Everyone has the right to assert their own uniqueness without being castigated for being different. Mr. Lewis I love and appreciate your whiteness, lol.

    Charmaine Nokuri on Sep 28th, 2008 at 6:51pm

  12. Well well well. Please let me correct you all on a few things. There is a tribe called the Lemba tribe in Africa. Most people of jewish religon know of this africa/jewish tribe. Where decedants of the Jewish culture orginated from Africa. I know Mr. Ward personally and the LAST thing from his interpation of
    where jazz orginated is not”white people” we know the roots of Africa who gave us call & responce on the plantations. But you want to talk about call & responce. the Birds and animals have been doing it since the birth of this world. But Jazz is born in New Orleans and you can’t take that away from them. mind you there are people of all different races everywhere.
    But it is so sad that I see and talk to Black Jazz musicians who admit they marry or date people of white or oriental races to be accepted in the Jazz world because most of the people who book,attend and support are White. Go to the functions check out your billboard jazz top list. Thank God Wynton and a few other blacks are able to try and keep jazz alive. I see the balcks in Harlme because they can afford to go to certain places. so what you all got to say to this?

    ms jackson on Sep 28th, 2008 at 1:33pm

  13. Yeah, Wynton never says anything controversial! Ha ha. Wynton did not need to be up there with Geoffrey Ward. He CHOSE to write this book with him. Wynton speaks his mind freely. Just listen to what he says in this very interview. Does that sound like a guy afraid to alienate his fan base? Please…

    As for reform of the pedagogy of Jazz, I couldn’t agree more with you. Jazz education is in sad shape right now. There are a few people doing it very well, but the vast majority of Jazz “educators” don’t have a clue about what they are talking about.

    As for Black History Month, I think it’s a bit condescending and a half-assed attempt to deal with racial injustices. It’s probably better to not have it at all.

    “As is the norm for those who encounter me, I graciously set her straight…”

    How in the world do you ever learn anything with that attitude? Considering you’re making these statements on the Wynton Marsalis web site, I can tell you that you need to be set straight on a number of things pertaining to Wynton.

    But, you’re not going to learn aything thing from me because you think I’m white. After all, you said that “Anybody who says ‘Jazz is American music’ must be white.” Instead of quoting a number of black musicians who say just that and embarassing you again, I’ll just let you go on ranting.

    I can think of about 15 more important things I need to be doing right now. So, I’m out.

    Joe Lewis on Sep 28th, 2008 at 1:16pm

  14. Wynton knows more about history and the “concept of democracy,” than you give him credit for, Ms. Nokuri. Albert Murray was his mentor…need I say more.

    It would be wise of you to get your facts straight so as to avoid ignorant comments like the one you made about Wynton.

    edna on Sep 28th, 2008 at 2:18am

  15. 1) Me being Jewish. If I hated white people, then I wouldn’t have converted to a religion that has predominately white people. And truth be told I am more comfortable around white people than I am black people, because usually black people want to kill me because I speak the truth to them also, ala Bill Cosby. (I was a militant Republican at Spelman College freshman year before I transferred, horrible experience except when I played in the jazz ensemble. If I had a dime for every time someone wanted to kill me I would be rich,lol)

    2) Not to be rude but Wynton’s concept of democracy is not based on the reality that exist outside of the concert hall. Plus it would totally unwise for Wynton to say anything controversial or divisive ? That would alienate his fan base. He is a musician not a historian. I view him more like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan when it comes to race relations. I take a more Charles Barkley-Jim Brown approach. The world needs both.

    3) As for suggestions, I think the pedagogy of jazz and history in general should be overhauled. I once got into an argument with my high school teacher because she said to the class that there should be no black history month. As is the norm for those who encounter me, I graciously set her straight and the next year she created a class called “Combating Intolerance.” By being open and honest about race healing can not take place. Much like the truth and reconciliation councils of Rwanda and South Africa. Finally, until all history books acknowledge the contributions of black people, racism will persist. It absolutely sickens me that our main American legacy when it comes to music is tied to that cultural abortion called gansta rap. Screw that
    we created not only hip hop, but blues, gospel, rock-n-roll AND JAZZ ! That is my history and I am sticking to it.

    Charmaine Nokuri on Sep 27th, 2008 at 9:48pm

  16. Also, what does you being Jewish have anything to do with my retort?

    Joe Lewis on Sep 27th, 2008 at 6:53pm

  17. Which Mr. Andrews are you referring to?

    Also, did Geoffrey Ward say that white Americans created jazz? I believe he was using “we” to refer to fellow Americans.

    Since Wynton obviously does not agree with you about Geoffrey Ward, are you saying that he is “sordidly ignorant of factual historical record?”

    I don’t need to be enlightened any more that you need to enlighten others.

    BTW, have you once suggested any remedies for the seemingly array of racist behavior amongst jazz musicians? Or do you just like to complain about things and leave them at that?

    Joe Lewis on Sep 27th, 2008 at 6:52pm

  18. I am hurt and confused by your comments Mr. Lewis. I am in fact Jewish and a highly trained historian, so the fact that you would downgrade my scholarly critic of Mr. Andrews to bigotry is very offensive.

    I do not think all white people are racist, but simply like most Americans of all hues are sordidly ignorant of factual historical record. I mean have you ever watched Jay Walking on the Jay Leno show.

    I am not into politically correct notions of anything. I am not going to stroke anyone’s ego for the sake of denying the truth. Perhaps this quote by Mr. Jefferson the founder of my dear Aluma Matre THE UNIVERSITY of Virginia would help in enlighten you to my perspective about life in general.

    “This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.”

    Charmaine Nokuri on Sep 27th, 2008 at 6:07pm

  19. Ms. Nokuri, please just come out and say it. I think you meant, “I CANNOT listen to Geoffery Ward one bit because he is white.” We get it. You don’t like white people, and you are convinced they are all racist. We GET it.

    Anyhoo, I got stuck watching that whole interview when I meant to just take a quick listen. It was very interesting and entertaining. It was hilarious when Wynton was trying to get that guy to clap that 6/8 rhythm.

    Also, his reaction to that guy asking about avant garde music was very interesting. While I totally agree with what he said, I don’t know how he makes such an insult sound so complimentary! Ha ha. “Free jazz is a great tool for teaching very young children.”

    Joe Lewis on Sep 26th, 2008 at 7:04pm

  20. Every time I hear Wynton speak I fall in love with him all over again. I am always touched by his innocence and passion for jazz music. I also see the scars of a man who grew up in the deep south and I am filled with compassion. As young gifted black person myself who grew up south of the Mason Dixon, I know what it is like to be in a bean in a pot of rice. so I sincerely appreciate the stripes he took for his people.

    However, as a revisionist historian I CANNOT listen to Geoffery Ward one bit. It is totally historically inaccurate to say white Americans CREATED jazz music. I acknowledge they CONTRIBUTED but no they did not create jazz anymore than blacks created the Constitution. His use of “we” reminds of Malcolm X’s message to Grassroots.

    “The house Negro, if the master said, “We got a good house here,” the house Negro would say, “Yeah, we got a good house here.” Whenever the master said “we,” he said “we.” That’s how you can tell a house Negro.”

    Charmaine Nokuri on Sep 25th, 2008 at 8:09pm

  21. Thank you for posting this interview. An excellent follow up after reading the book.

    Sonalii on Sep 24th, 2008 at 12:13pm