[Dixielandjazz] Dr. Jazz; Jazz Health?

Dan Augustine ds.augustine@mail.utexas.edu
Tue, 24 Sep 2002 10:44:39 -0500

>From: drjz <drjz@bealenet.com>
>Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 11:21:52 -0400
>Dear Rebecca,
>Your affliction with the "Jazz Disease" intrigues me because I came upon
>this phrase recently used in a more concrete manner  I had an email
>interview with a journalist in Brazil about my book "Jazz and Death".
>One question was whether there was a "tendency to certain diseases among
>jazz musicians" from factors associated with playing jazz. I replied
>that there were certainly some environmental elements, other than those
>dealt with in occupational medicine (instrument, etc), that affect(ed)
>the health of jazz artists, and referred him to my book for further
>details. The next question was "Can we call them 'Jazz diseases'?" My
>answer was "No!" Most afflictions of jazz players reflect those of the
>general population, with the exception of substance abuse in some eras
>and cases. Cheers.
Dr. Jazz (and others)--
    Is there any evidence to support the notion that some jazz players may be, in fact, healthier than their non-jazz counterparts (given the same body types, habits, etc.)?  For example, would woodwind and brass players, because of using their respiratory systems more extensively, have healthier lungs for that reason?  Some piano players and conductors seem to be very fit in their upper bodies, perhaps because of the actions of their arms in playing and conducting. String bass players might have impressive calluses on their fingers, allowing them to pick up hot objects (roll your own jokes here).  Is there such a thing as 'Jazz Health" (instead of 'Jazz Disease'?)  Has anyone done any research in this area, or am i just blowing hot air?  (As usual, but as a tuba player with a 6-liter lung-capacity, it's a LOT of hot air....)

** Dan Augustine - ds.augustine@mail.utexas.edu             **
** Office of Admissions, University of Texas; Austin, Texas **