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Column: Jazz
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In 1903, when historian and sociologist W.E.B. DuBois heralded the Negro spiritual as the most beautiful expression of human experience born this side of the seas, the singular spiritual heritage of the nation, he had little idea of the cultural hurricane and the resulting tsunami that heritage would engender. Spirituals proved to be the bedrock beginnings of jazz, the most transformative music of the last hundred years. Jazz, originally “jass” from the Irish word “teas” -- pronounced “chass” or “jass” -- meaning heat, passion, excitement, has marked the world we live in with its ever evolving intellectual and emotional charge.