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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Randy Weston

Randy Weston on traveling.

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Randy Weston on the meaning of 'jazz'.

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Randy Weston on first hearing Thelonious Monk.

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Transcription

Q: “What does it mean to you then, if somebody says ‘jazz’, what do you think?”

A: Randy Weston: “Well, I'll tell you, but I have to tell you in a certain way, in a certain style.”

Interviewer: “Okay. Okay.”

Randy Weston: “It's like ... it's a term that we never use ourselves. You see, there are certain terms that have been applied to our music. Certain labels are put on the music that musicians themselves never put labels on, for example. So as a boy and, I guess, because it influenced my father, I've always had a fascinating interest in Africa, a very serious interest in African civilization, you know. And I used to read a lot when I was a boy about the old kingdoms. I used to listen to African music. I used to go to different places in New York and speak to African musicians and they would tell me about the music and the Cuban musicians in New York and I became fascinated.”