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JazzTimes’ Direction

JazzTimes’ in-house shrink and “America’s Psychologist,” Dr. Jeff Gardere is a contributor to Good Morning America, FOX network, Today Show, MSNBC, and CNN. A Board-Certified Psychologist, Dr. Jeff was a longtime friend of the late, great Mickey Bass and is a pretty good crooner!

I MUST SHARE, in all honesty, that being given the gig of writing a monthly column for the legendary JazzTimes is an honor and quite daunting at the same time. But it is also exciting that I have been included in the new direction of this venerable publication, one that acknowledges and embraces diverse voices, artists, and ideas in embracing the American art form called jazz.

I believe I am in a unique position as a board-certified clinical psychologist, professor of psychology and behavioral medicine, author, talking head on the news, part-time musician, actor, producer, and reality show shrink, I believe I am in a unique position to give a different take on how jazz has and continues to influence and change the world.

In no way am I boasting about the many hats I wear; the point I am making is that on any given day, I have a foot in many different worlds, but music, especially jazz music, has influenced and has been an integral part of all my professional experiences, not to mention my personal trials, tribulations, and triumphs. In essence, jazz music has become the soundtrack of my life and guides my thoughts, my actions, and my interactions and interventions.

When I give advice to my patients who are going through it, I may channel CHARLIE CHAPLIN and counsel them to “Smile smile though your heart is breaking, and you’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile.” When I am lecturing medical or psychology students, and I want them to do their work instead of slacking, I may conjure up CHET BAKER and may sing (to their dismay), “Do it the hard way, and it’s easy sailing, for only the soft way has a chance to lose!”

If I am giving a television interview on an important news story, depending on the gravity of the situation, and the complexity of the energy I want to give, I may pace myself in the rhythm patterns of MAX ROACH or ART BLAKLEY. And if I want to express outrage at some political injustice in a podcast, then I may model LOUIS HAYES’ energy from his frenetic and loud drumming.


So as you can plainly see, my articles in the JazzTimes will always have at their foundation and philosophy, no matter the topic, the role and influence of jazz music as part of the etiology, the manifestation, and the outcome.

The articles and the musings I will be contributing to the great JazzTimes will provide anecdotal, personal, and empirically based information on how jazz can explain our human condition and our culture shock from the advent of the pandemic, rapid climate change, political divisions, injustice, war, and hate. No doubt I will explore the psychology of the writers, artists, musicians, and producers and how their personalities drive and are manifested in their work.


I will explore how jazz music can be the balm in the Gilead, a healing force for any dysfunction or problem that may be plaguing the individual or our society. Believe me, this will not be a stretch, given that listening to jazz is fun and provides stress relief, which can help people learn better and live longer. As well, learning jazz may be the ultimate in training young minds to think critically and creatively, according to an article that appeared in Psychology Today in April 2014 (“. (What Jazz Music Can Do for the Brain” by William R. Klemm, Ph.D.Psychology Today April 27, 2014 ).

I often say to anyone who may want to listen, truly that without a song, a man or person truly ain’t got a friend. And that, my friends, is the point of my passion for jazz music; this unique art form created by the pain, struggles, joy, and genius of African American slaves and their descendants and embraced and played by all people, of all races, religions, and cultures, reflecting their struggles, their history, their voices, their dreams, is a manifestation of the collective unconscious of humankind.

So in that vein, I will share the incredible and beautiful real-life stories of pain and hardship that have been so eloquently and powerfully sublimated into the timeless jazz music that not only told the struggles of past times, but also still define and give perspective to our conflicted present and our uncertain future, but most importantly fuel s the faith that keeps hope alive!


Finally, stay tuned to my new magazine show, 790 Riverside Drive —, yes, broadcasted from my Washington Heights, New York, apartment —, which will be live and interactive on the JazzTimes Television. We will feature music, arts, healing, exercise, healthy cooking, and more, which are a celebration of a healthy lifestyle. And, of course, we will be sharing talk and live music from some of our living jazz legends, working jazz artists, and the young jazz lions who are on the scene.

Can’t wait to connect with you, “body and soul!”