What type of jazz type music is good for kids?

It depends on the style of jazz you are teaching, the phrases you are choreographing, the dances you are making.
Any time I hear a “jazzy” tune, I make a note of it and add it to my compilation.

Here are some that have caught my attention…

  • “Twisted” by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross
  • “Yellow Moon” by the Neville Brothers
  • Various tracks by Joe Zawinul and Weather Report (e.g. “Birdland”)
  • Various tracks by Pat Methany
  • Various tracks from “Comparsa” (an album by Deep Forest)

What are you using?


February 29, 2012. Tags: , . Favorite Music.


  1. Andrea replied:

    Leon Parker is great. I’ve used a lot of his music for my tap classes and choreography too.

  2. Kerry replied:

    Thanks you! I am going to check out his music.

  3. D Sumner replied:


    If you think Weather Report is useful, you might also want to look into Ramsey Lewis, especially on an album like “Sun Goddess,” which utilizes the soul/funk/jazz crossover. Members of Earth Wind & Fire contribute to that album.

    Based on your list, I took an educated guess on the type of Pat Metheny tracks most interested you, and based on that, I’d recommend checking out Jack Dejohnette, especially an album like “Parallel Realities”, which has a real fusion sound. Dejohnette played drums for a lot of greats and his sound varied, but I think this album might be something you’re looking for. You might also try other musicians who recorded on the ECM label during the 80s; they applied a lot of smoother fusion and functional rhythms.

    As far as some classic jazz, you might want to look into some of the music that falls under the hard bop subgenre, which incorporated the emerging funk and Motown of the 1960s. Perhaps listen to various samples of Donald Byrd and Horace Silver and Dexter Gordon, particularly recordings they did for the Blue Note Records label. For Silver, perhaps “Song for my Father.” For Gordon, perhaps “One Flight Up” and maybe “Blackjack” for Donald Byrd.

    Also, you might find something more along the fusion lines if you look through jazz recorded in the 1970s for the CTI label. Perhaps an album Stanley Turrentine or George Benson.

    There’s lots of great jazz out there. Good luck.


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