April 27, 2016

HOMMAGE looks at the style of Jazz: From a Soul Patch to a Conk…and to the Duke himself

By The HOMMAGE Man In homages

Do you like Jazz as much as we do? If so, you probably already know that April 30 is International Jazz Day. This year’s host city? Washington D.C. The global jazz concert will be broadcast from the White House.

Can you recall the different host cities over the past 4 years? We’ll put the answer at the bottom of our blog…just to give you some time to reflect?

The cool thing about Jazz – actually all music – is that it’s an overall “feel good” lifter. It’s also an incredible form of self-expression and release. It’s not unlike how we think about grooming.

HOMMAGE pays homage to the style of jazz—starting with the legend who symbolizes it best, Duke Ellington.

1970 Ad, Wurlitzer Pianos & Organs, with Jazz musician Duke Ellington EndorsementAt the age of seven, we’ve learned that the Duke’s mom had him taking piano lessons and surrounded with dignified women to help cultivate his manners, sophistication and polish up his overall self-presentation. So, it kind of goes without saying that his childhood friends found themselves nicknaming him “Duke”, rather than calling him by his birth name, Edward. What, one may ask, are the characteristics of a Duke?

Here’s a few:

Noble class, State of quality, Dignity, Elite, Upper class, Elegance, Classy, Honesty, Gentility.

We understand that Duke Ellington was exceedingly concerned with how he looked on stage, donning an immaculately polished onstage appearance and wearing show-stopping ensembles. And his hair? Worn in a “conk” – a meticulously straightened hair style that made use of hot lyre—a look that he never abandoned, even after it went south on style with the hipsters of Harlem.

Ahhhhhh, the 1940s and 50s…. as facial hair was still pretty uncommon during that time, a clean-shaven look was popular. But, as the 50s turnJazz musician Duke Ellington, Howard Theater, Washington, D.C., ca. June 1946ed into the 60s, the goatee found itself in pop culture by way of counter-cultural movements. Jazz trumpeters, in particular, preferred the goatee for the comfort it provided when using a trumpet mouthpiece and jazz flute players who disliked the feel of the flute mouthpiece on a freshly-shaven lower lip also sported the look.

Right in harmony with the goatee, came the “soul patch” (or the “jazz dot”) –best described as a patch of whiskers below the lower lip but not going into a moustache or goatee. The style was common among jazzmen and became popular with beatniks, artists, and those who frequented the jazz scene and moved in literary and artistic circles.

International Jazz Day

Previous Host Cities
2015 Paris, France
2014 Osaka, Japan
2013 Istanbul, Turkey
2012 United Nations marked the 1st International Jazz Day


1 Comment
  1. Vernez April 28, 2016

    Very nice dukes’s homage from Hommage ..
    Congratulations ! Every men should be attentive with their clean shaven look . …


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