Chicago Jazz Festival 2012 Preview: Milton Suggs' philosophy on jazz

August 28, 2012 3:29:19 PM PDT
The Chicago Jazz Festival 2012 kicks off Thursday with acts performing in Grant Park and downtown venues -- but on Tuesday a rising star on the Chicago jazz scene performed at Daley Plaza.

Milton Suggs is the leader of a jazz group called Milton Suggs Philosophy.

"Philosophy, in general, is the way a person feels and interprets his life," Suggs said. "Or life in general. How they see things and how they do things. And that's what music is. It's the outward expression of that."

That sounds simple enough, but for many people, jazz is still a mystery. How do all those musicians, all playing different notes, all have the same philosophy?

"All of us combined we're all sharing and combining our own individual philosophies to make one group philosophy to express something about music and ourselves," Suggs said.

And the best part- Suggs said you don't have to understand jazz to enjoy it.

"A chef spends hours and days and years learning how to perfect his technique and craft and what ingredients to put in and how the measurements go and with music it's a similar things. The musician spends hours and years, decades perfecting his craft and we present it to the public just like a chef presents the food to the public and it's really not up to the person eating the food to understand it so much as it is to enjoy the food. If it's good then that chef's job is accomplished. If the music feels good and it sounds good then our job is accomplished as musicians," Suggs said.

Milton Suggs Philosophy performs at noon on Sunday at Jazz on Jackson Stage.

The Chicago Jazz Festival runs from August 30 to September 2. Download the Chicago Jazz Fest Lineup here


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