Your Brain on Jazz—Arizona Classic Jazz Society

Standards and Poor (photo by Helen Daley)

Helen Daley

It’s Sunday morning, and you just feel lazy today. You don’t see any reason to get up and get moving. The event you may be thinking about attending doesn’t start until 1 p.m., but even that doesn’t encourage you to start your day. Maybe the following information will entice you to appear at the April 16 Arizona Classic Jazz Society (ACJS) event from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort.

There are expert studies that suggest, to firm up your body, head to the gym. But if you listen to music, you’ll be exercising your brain. Exactly what does that mean? Even Plato said, “Music is the medicine of the soul.” Yeah, he is really old now, so what does he know? Current researchers now admit that, in addition to connecting us, music has the power to improve physical, mental, and emotional health. Music can stimulate the brain like no other medium.

If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool. It provides a total brain workout. Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain, as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.

“Just listening to music activates more brain regions simultaneously than any other human activity,” says neurologist Alexander Yuryevice Pantelyat, director at the Atypical Parkinsonism Center at John Hopkins, “So therein lies both the challenge and promise studying music’s effects on the brain: There is likely something for everyone when it comes to using music as medicine …” For more information on different studies, go to They also say that jazz is a great format to help access all those positive vibes.

So, do possibly the best thing for your body, mind, and soul and come listen to some great jazz. Appearing on April 16 is Standards and Poor, with Evan Dain (leader/trombone), Chris Constantine (drums), Chelsee Hicks (vocals), Syl Slipetsky (tuba), Cheryl Thurston (piano), Greg Varlotta (trumpet), and Rob Wright (banjo).

All ACJS events take place at the Crowne Plaza Phoenix-Chandler Golf Resort (still affectionately referred to as the San Marcos by us old timers), One San Marcos Place, in Downtown Chandler. The cost is $15 for ACJS members and $20 for non-members (become a new member on the 16th and get in free; yearly membership $35 couple, single $25). Bring cash or check. There will be two dance floors and seating that provides spacing to meet everybody’s wishes, with the choice of table or theater seating. For more information, go to or call 480-620-3941.