Guest Student DJ Jafar Daniel: Jazz Is A Society

Jan 7, 2016

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.  

Jafar Daniel from Shorewood High School is the Student DJ for the month of January.  Jafar's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on January 7.

To get to know him better we asked Jafar to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

I play the trumpet. I picked up the instrument in sophomore year, which is pretty late in the game. Initially, I chose it because it was lighter than the baritone. Once I started playing it, I began to enjoy it more and more.

I didn’t really get into jazz until fairly late in high school. I joined Shorewood’s jazz band junior year, and I was in way over my head. I had to learn all the rules pretty quickly. I’m still in over my head, but slightly less so.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece and why?

"Israel," off "Birth of the Cool."

It brings back fond memories. It was one of the first songs we played at the UW jazz camp, and I had a blast there, playing with a bunch of talented people. We were in small combos, and our mentor was Mark Taylor. Swell guy.

I really like the interaction between the saxophone and trumpet melodies. The opening lick captures your attention completely, and the song just gets more interesting from there.

Who’s your jazz hero and why?

(jazz legend) Django Reinhardt.

I admire the direction he went with his all-string quintet and how he mixed American jazz and musical traditions of his own culture.

(close friend) Sam Anschell

The first sax jackal I ever met. I really admired his dedication to the saxophone. He carried the jazz band, and was the coolest cat.

What is jazz, exactly? How would you explain it?

It’s a society, a club with it’s own set of rules and establish patterns.

You can break them if you want of course, you just have to be slick about it.

It’s got it’s own hierarchy of who taught who, and who stole licks from who. 

Jafar's Setlist:

  1. “ISRAEL” MILES DAVIS (The Birth of the Cool)
  2. “MEMORY IS A FUNNY THING” YOSUKE YAMASHITA (Triple Cats)
  3. “THE ELK’S PARADE” BOBBY SHERWOOD (Big Band Classics: 1942-1947)
  4. “THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU” CHET BAKER (Chet Baker Sings)
  5. “STORMY” MORGAN ADAMS QUARTET +2 (Madlib: Shades of Blue)
  6. “REFLECTION ETERNAL” NUJABES (Modal Soul)
  7. “SOUL SAUCE” CAL TJADER (Soul Sauce)
  8. “GROOVULATION” ONE LARD BIZKIT BRASS BAND (Better Recognize)
  9. “JOY SPRING” ARTURO SANDOVAL (KPLU Studio Sessions)
  10. “DREAM GYPSY” BILL EVANS/JIM HALL (Undercurrent)
  11. “THEM CHANGES” THUNDERCAT w/Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington (The Beyond)
  12. “BLUES FOR ALICE” CHARLIE PARKER (Bird: Original Recordings of C.P.)
  13. “I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS” DJANGO REINHARDT (Best of Django Reinhardt)