A Parent + Child Introduction To Jazz

So you want your kid to be a Jazz aficionado but you know nothing about Jazz yourself? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This week we present you with three great picture books about Jazz legends to introduce your child to Jazz AND we have also included CD recommendations for grownups wanting to familiarize themselves with Jazz but aren’t sure where to start. Just think of how much fun you will have discovering this music together!

Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane – by Carole Boston Weatherford (Author), Sean Qualls (Illustrator)

Young John Coltrane was all ears. And there was a lot to hear growing up in the South in the 1930s: preachers praying, music on the radio, the bustling of the household. These vivid noises shaped John’s own sound as a musician. Carole Boston Weatherford and Sean Qualls have composed an amazingly rich hymn to the childhood of jazz legend John Coltrane.

My Favorite Things – John Coltrane

Released in 1961, this is Coltrane’s seventh studio album and the first album to feature Coltrane playing soprano saxophone. An edited version of the title song became a hit single that was very popular on radio in 1961.

Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Join Scat Cat as he follows Ella Fitzgerald from her debut as a singer on the stage of the Apollo Theater through a remarkable career that spanned half a century and won her generations of fans around the world.

Ella sings the Cole Porter Songbook 

This this 1956 studio album,  Ella Fitzgerald is accompanied by a studio orchestra conducted and arranged by Buddy Bregman, focusing on the songs of Cole Porter.

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka

A brief, rhythmic text printed in different styles and varied with playful onomatopoeia recalls the humor and cadences of a great jazz musician. You will have as much fun reading this book as your little one will have listening.

Charlie Parker With Strings 

Charlie Parker with Strings is a compilation album released by Verve Records in January 1995. It is based on recording sessions which place Parker in the context of a small classical string section and a jazz rhythm section, rather than his standard bebop quintet. They were Parker’s most popular sellers during his lifetime, and were admitted to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1988.