Breaking Jazz

About The Program

Dizzy Gillespie once said: “As a musician, you have to keep one foot in the past and have one foot forward, into the future.”

Matt Silver here to let you know that musicians making new jazz records today — whether they’re conscious of it or not — continue to heed Dizzy’s words. This music we love is so inextricably bound to its history, to legendary musicians long passed, that, as an audience, we can lose sight of the fact that it’s constantly evolving, its idiomatic language constantly expanding, like the universe — or the argot of adolescence.

On my new show, “Breaking Jazz” — showcasing the recently released music I like best right now — you’ll hear from the instrumentalists and vocalists generating the most buzz in the contemporary jazz ecosystem. You’ll also hear from those who’ve got the chops but not yet the name recognition. Hence, breaking jazz — like breaking news.

But the name of the show implies something beyond that. And that is the prospect of discovering not just new songs and the new names playing them, but new sounds — sounds distinctly rooted in the capital-T tradition but also unencumbered by any prescriptive notion of what jazz is or must be.

On “Breaking Jazz,” we’ll champion music qua music; that is, music for its own sake, as a mood and perspective altering substance that makes life, if not a little better, than at least a little richer and more acutely felt, its texture more perceptible. I will never play an album simply because its promotional materials declare it to stand for one anodyne, focus-group-tested political position or another. To be sure, music amplifies the melody, harmony, and rhythm of the time in which it’s made, and the times in which we live are, indeed, hyper-political. But, to me, if something’s gonna make the air, it’s because it’s made a statement musically, not in a press release.

I’m not looking for fresh new faces to sell jazz to the masses — or to save it or transcend it or redraw its borders; I’m going to play for you the stuff I compulsively share with those closest to me because I want them — I NEED them — to be as excited about it as I am.

I’ve learned that when you thoughtfully share music with others, you can reveal those parts of your innermost self that conventional language will never completely do justice. Each week, for 90 minutes, I’ll share those parts of myself with you.

THIS is Breaking Jazz.

Join me. Every Sunday night at 6:30 pm Pacific. On KSDS Jazz 88.3 FM in San Diego; all around the world at and the KSDS mobile app.

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