Jazz musicians use social media to bring the genre to a younger generation

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Jazz musicians use social media to bring the genre to a younger generation
Sandy Kenyon reports on the efforts jazz musicians are taking to expose young people to jazz.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Jazz is a uniquely American form of music and the source of so much of what we listen to and enjoy today. Yet, it's a genre young people don't know much about. The 92nd Street Y in Manhattan is looking to change that, through the power of social media. But it all starts first in Queens.

Little Tyler Faddis is already a big jazz fan. His father, Jon Faddis, is a famous trumpeter, so he is growing up listening to jazz music. Unfortunately, that is not the case for most young people.

"Our audience has dwindled over the years," Jon Faddis said. "It's great to reach out to youth."

That's why Faddis found himself using Facebook Live and talking into a phone from jazz legend Louis Armstrong's house in Corona, Queens.

"The more I come here, the more I learn about Louis Armstrong," Faddis said. "And I see different things."

The post came through the Facebook page of the 92nd Street Y, where a program called "Jazz in July" is run by pianist Bill Charlap.

Charlap said the Armstrong home is the perfect venue for young people to be introduced to jazz.

"Everything came out of Louis," Charlap said. "Absolutely everything. So no matter whether you're listening to rock and roll or hip-hop or jazz, Louis Armstrong is there."

Armstrong's home is now a museum owned by a non-profit organization, and his legend is kept alive by ambassadors who do what it takes to keeps "Pops" relevant along with the jazz that is the foundation of so much music many of us enjoy.

"Once young people get connected with this music, they end up loving it," Faddis said. "And that was something Louis Armstrong was always doing here in the neighborhood. He was reaching out to young people."

Modern music services like Spotify also play a part in keeping the genre alive. A jazz standard recorded by Charlap on the piano has been streamed more than 17 million times, helping to ensure that jazz is alive and well.