The West Virginia Jazz Society was not founded to promote jazz music exclusively. It was intended to be more of a lifestyle statement about living in the region surrounding Clarksburg/Bridgeport, WV, a place we now call America’s Jazz Crossroads.
We see live jazz performance as part of a larger whole that encompasses many aspects of the cultural life of the region – restaurants, fine arts events, farmers markets, independent music venues – stuff that is not usually part of a chain or franchise, stuff that is independent and of high quality and is, above all, honest.
“…stuff that is not usually part of a chain or franchise, stuff that is independent and of high quality and is, above all, honest.”
Thyme Bistro in Weston, El Gran Sabor in Elkins, Mia Margherita in Bridgeport, the 88 Restaurant & Lounge in Buckhannon, and Washington Square in Clarksburg are a few that come immediately to mind. A corporate exception might be Bourbon Prime, the new bar and restaurant in Morgantown’s Waterfront Marriott Hotel.
These are all places where we’ve had marvelous jazz experiences while enjoying those things the places had to offer, and what they offer is really, really good. Typically, their fare is prepared with skill from fresh ingredients that are frequently locally sourced. Independent, high quality, and honest.
But the key to the wonder in those experiences is the magic that happens when the venues put the focus on the music. When the groove is right and the cats are really cooking, rooms full of strangers find a commonality so deep and involving that those captured by the experience don’t realize it’s happening when it’s happening. They are there…now…in the moment. It’s a great feeling any music lover can discover.
“When the groove is right and the cats are really cooking, rooms full of strangers find a commonality so deep…”
There are a whole set of values that go along with a jazz lifestyle. Just a few would be pursuit of education and learning, inclusion and diversity, progressive approaches to solving community problems, substance over image, “the golden rule”, generational interaction, and mentoring. It’s some pretty old fashioned stuff that has maybe fallen out of fashion to Society’s detriment. Jazz can fix that.
“Jazz is not coarse. Jazz represents the higher ideals of being American.”
Jazz is not coarse. Jazz is refined and polite and courteous, and can be humorous without ever being off color or vulgar. Jazz is the kind of music of which our grandmothers would approve. Jazz represents the higher ideals of being American. Jazz can change your life for the better.
Make America Jazz Again!