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Be the Mule Blog

"You're Not Going to Play Anything that Hasn't Been Played" And Tradition

It has always bothered me when teachers, musicians, or critics, say "you're not going to play anything that hasn't been played... there's only 12 notes." I read an interview where Winton Marsalis was quoted as saying this. Doesn't mean he did, that much Ive learned in doing interviews ove the past couple years, but sorry Im for people who believe this, Winton or not.

New is ALL there is to play if you allow yourself to do it. There's really no reason to repeat whats been done, trying or not. This means you have to try not to, until you develop something that is only your own. For me, the only tradition jazz has is rebelling against whatever was accepted as tradition. Its a spirit and a social movement, and not just jazz, music. Music is a chance to empower, to express, and to discover. Perhaps that sounds simplistic, optimistic, mystic. Thats music. Honor it, its ahead of us.

So, you are going to play whats never been played in ways that have never been played. And thats what music wants you to play. 


Below are two kids from a MX City anti-violence group that came to our soundcheck at Lunario. They are going to do something no one else has done, for their neighborhood, with their words, for their music and with their music. Watch!


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