Are you ready to swing?
Discover the wonders of jazz: How to get in the groove, what it means to play a solo, and the joy of singing along in a call-and-response.
In this interactive swing-along picture book with 12 sound chips, you’ll hear the instruments of jazz—the rhythm section with its banjo, drums, and tuba, and the leads, like the clarinet, trumpet, and trombone. And you’ll hear singers scat, improvising melodies with nonsense syllables like be-bop and doo-we-ah!
Along the way, you’ll learn how this unique African American art form started in New Orleans, and how jazz changed over time as innovative musicians like King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday added their own ideas to it.
“Welcome to Jazz is a perfect entree for a young person’s journey into the wonders of jazz. Carolyn Sloan’s insightfulness into the basics—rhythm, sound, improvisation—makes concepts clear while providing a fun and exciting adventure into the exploration of the art form. Highly recommended for children of all ages.” – Justin DiCiccio, jazz performer, composer, pedagogue, and Associate Dean/Chair Emeritus of The Manhattan School of Music’s Jazz Arts Program
“In this interactive volume, readers meet three cool cats (literal felines) at a jazz club, where one explains the art form to the others. This setup allows Sloan to offer a relatively comprehensive introduction to jazz, from its origins as “an African American art form” to its signature sounds, toggling between the cats’ dialogue and text-block explanations. A push-button side panel with 12 musical features plays instrument sounds (trumpet, double bass) as well as stylistic elements (scatting, improvisation), and each is called out in the text. Gibson’s swooping, stylized forms have a retro-mod flair, showing black and brown musicians performing for the trio of wide-eyed cats. Supplemental material delves deeper into jazz’s roots: “Out of terrible hardship and the unjust cruelty of slavery came beauty and innovation in the form of a new kind of music and the brilliant musicians who played it.” Ages 4–8. (Oct.)” – Publishers Weekly
“A swinging invitation to get into the groove.” – Kirkus Reviews
“. . . a five-star performance from start to finish.” – BookPage