Celebrated on May 25th
Secret signals? Say what?! With so many things happening on stage, musicians communicate with each other non-verbally. They usually cue the end of their solos with nods, or the end of the piece by pointing their fingers at their heads (meaning it’s time to play the “head” – the main theme or original melody of a song). The next time you’re at a jazz performance, see if you can spot any "sign language"!
One of the most unique aspects of jazz is improvisation. This is when the music is made up during the song. There is an overriding melody and structure to the song, but the musicians play it differently each time. Usually, each musician gets the opportunity to solo during the song. They improvise during their solo trying out new tricks and ideas to see what works.
Few things have been as closely intertwined as jazz and dancing styles. A bit like spaghetti and meatballs perhaps. So in case you were wondering, here are some of the greatest dance forms to have originated from jazz—Truckin', The Shimmy, The Lambeth Walk, Charleston and Black Bottom!