Genre Spotlight: EDM Jazz

How the old genre is making its way back into mainstream music

Illustrator: Nora Peterson

Illustrator: Nora Peterson

Flappers, saxophones, synthesizers, and computerized beats—a strange, yet beautiful combination. A combination that has swept the dance floors of nightclubs across the world.  Who would think that after almost a century of the rise of jazz, the music of Sinatra and Bennett would start making its way back into mainstream music and in the unusual way that it is.

Modern DJs have been known to combine various incompatible genres ingeniously, and after listening to several tracks, such as Aiden Chan’s “All That Jazz” and “On The Rocks,” I can confidently say that jazz-inspired tracks are among my favorite tracks. There’s some type of magic that occurs when you combine the woodwind orchestration and old fashioned percussion of traditional jazz with the throbbing basslines and combatting melodies of modern EDM.

The nature of these creations also reflects the nature of the foundational principles of jazz: for the music not to discriminate, even toward modern music such as EDM. As jazz superstar Louis Armstrong once said: “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.”

In the 1920s, jazz ignited a generation to embrace each musical side wholeheartedly through both new forms of dance and increased acceptance of musical interpretation. This flexibility is mirrored through modern DJs crossing genres, so it’s only appropriate that jazz crossovers are the most fitting combinations.

Illustrator: Nora Peterson

Illustrator: Nora Peterson

My favorite mix to date would have to be “Lone Digger” by Caravan Palace as it is full of competing EDM and traditional jazz melodies, along with a leading female jazz vocal. This crossover does not only capture the spirit of jazz; it’s also complimented by respectable production.

Other mainstream artists that have included jazz influences in their music include: Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Alessia Cara, Amy Winehouse, and many more. Along with these artists, a few motion pictures have contributed to this new genre. The most noteworthy one being the latest adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” which included the platinum-selling single, “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey.

If you haven’t yet, check out the artists listed above as well as the entire genre of EDM Jazz. If you find that the music speaks you, don’t be alarmed. As Amy Winehouse once said regarding the influence jazz had on her: “I would say that jazz is my own language.” It could become yours too, even if it’s in EDM form.