I was lucky to spend an evening at a jazz club in Chicago – apparently, a must on the to visit list when you are in the city. Chicago has one of the best jazz and blues clubs and when I questioned my friend about the difference between jazz and blues, he explained that they are both the same. Interesting fact: the name “blues” comes from the expression “to be blue”. Back in the day, when life was tougher, people used to gather together after a day of hard work to play music that expressed their emotions. People felt blue and music helped them open their hearts and be free. That is one of the reasons why we can say that jazz is music of freedom.
If you have never heard live jazz before, the first time might be a little challenging. For a rookie, it will sound like a crazy mix of guitar, vocals, drums, saxophone – they all mix into a dynamic rhythm. I was lucky that my friend instructed me on the best way to listen to jazz. First, you choose a table to sit – facing the stage, make sure to get a drink! You need to see the musicians, watch their faces, feel their passion. After one drink, you will feel more relaxed, this is the moment when your feet start to beat to the rhythm. After several songs and one more drink your head starts to shake, your hands and shoulders follow the moves of your feet and head. And this is the point of risk – you either stay where you are and keep watching the musicians, or you jump out of your seat and start to dance. Your moves will repeat the energetic rhythm of the song as you shake every possible part of your body. And this is how you express your soul’s freedom. Congratulations, you have opened your heart to jazz.
Tip: more drinks equals better moves 😉
(All I have is a collection of videos from Snapchat)
((Location of jazz clup Kingston Mines is 2548 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA opened everyday till 4AM))
It was a Thursday, and the club was open until 4am which is rather unusual for Chicago as clubs and bars close at 2am. Europeans may find this strange as it is a little early. I was finally able to get an explanation from my friend who was born and raised in Chicago. He explained that generally, bars can sell alcohol until 2am on working days and 4am during the weekends, however, some are granted permission to prolong the time (allowing bars to sell alcohol until 4am on working days and 5am during the weekends). Of course, this means that rules are stricter for these bar and club owners who must pay a little more. Fairly, this kind of permission is distributed evenly around the city.
Now we know why it is impossible to party till the morning in the US like it is in Europe. That’s why you hear Americans say that “European parties are the craziest”, which in my mind is not always true.