Sunday Inspiration: Jazz & Life

Jazz & Life

I’ve always told the musicians in my band to play what they know and then play above that. Because then anything can happen, and that’s where great art and music happen.” – Miles Davis

It’s Jazz Week at Chautauqua, and the music is fabulous. Wynton Marsalis and his Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra are blowing away the large, enthusiastic crowds.

The other day I heard this quote by Miles Davis that seems to be about life as well as jazz. I certainly want to play above what I know in my writing and my relationships and my spirituality. Don’t you?

Like a good jazz musician, I would like to soar above the commonplace, not only achieving harmony with those with whom I collaborate but also to seek something unique and transcending.

Jazz: you either dig it or you don’t.

How about you?


  1. Terry Guerra on August 28, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Hi Emilie,

    I want to play above, too! What a neat way to put it!

    To encourage people to soar is a wonderful thing. I am lucky enough to work for people who do so.

  2. Donna on August 28, 2016 at 10:30 am

    I absolutely dig it!

  3. Nancy Lepri on August 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Though I lived in the New Orleans area for five years, I have to admit I’m not that partial to jazz. ?

  4. Lynn Ross on August 29, 2016 at 1:18 am

    If always being “in over my head” means the same things as “playing above”, I did that when I was still singing. It wasn’t intentional, but when I look back on those wonderful years, I certainly resonate with all that you said. And I still want to “play above” in all areas of my life. Thank you for being such an inspiration, Emilie.

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