I've always found it interesting that when we are trying to learn the language of music, we often limit ourselves to one particular dialect. When I moved to the midwest (USA) for a few years, it took me forever to figure out what a 'bubbler' was, and people looked at me funny when I asked for a drinking fountain. But I'm from the mountain west. It's not a bubbler (or is it?), it's a drinking fountain.
What do you hear on the radio at the mall, doctor's office, or grocery store? Usually it is a pop station or what we lovingly refer to as "elevator music." Not a good example of jazz. Again, in mainstream culture, you won't hear jazz.
You have to seek it out.
In the Salt Lake City area (and most of Utah, southern Idaho and western Wyoming) you can catch jazz here, on KUER 90.1 FM from 8 PM to 12 AM. There are also great online resources, such as Pandora, Jango and Grooveshark.
The same is true with jazz - or any other style or genre you want to master. And just like a small child learning to talk, you start by imitating, then you speak with your own voice.
Good luck, and happy drumming!
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