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This very cool cat with an inborn jazz sensibility, Morgan Monceaux, wrote a book introducing jazz to children called “Jazz: My Music, My People” (c) 1994.

His illustrations fly off the page with their vibrancy and uniqueness. Pushed by his inner muse, Monceaux adds text as an artistic element. Example: Nina Simone (above) is encircled by the words “high priestess of soul” while curlicues of red, blue and yellow swirl behind and around her.

Monceaux gave a brief interview and discussed how, listening to Sarah Vaughan, he heard his mother’s voice and it made him feel warm inside. Nina Simone, he said, set the pace for his understanding of the 1960s and the protest movement. And Nat King Cole, “one of the coolest male singers of his time,” brought jazz into the homes of millions of people with his own TV show.

What an honor to be granted a brief interview with this artist and writer.

“I have a love of the female voice.”

“This book was a way of remembering my mother who gave me a love of jazz. It gives a history of jazz to show  how it has impacted today’s music.”

Read about this “great American storyteller” here. His book can be found here.

(Photo/artwork copyright Morgan Monceaux)