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Chops: Living for the City

What jazz musicians need to do if they want to move to New York in 2018

Kassa Overall
Kassa Overall. Photo by William Brown

Jazz has changed a lot over the past hundred or so years, but at least one thing about it has remained a constant: New York is—and probably always will be—its undisputed hub.

Ever since Duke Ellington decamped from Washington, D.C., for Manhattan in the early 1920s, eventually establishing his orchestra as the house band at the storied Cotton Club in Harlem, New York has been a kind of Emerald City for aspiring jazz musicians. And every year they pour in, instrument cases in hand, hoping to make an impression.

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Originally Published

Matthew Kassel

Matthew Kassel is a freelance writer whose work has been published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and The Columbia Journalism Review, among other publications.