Being a blues fan first and foremost, I've enjoyed this Year of the Blues. The Blues focused Kennedy Center Open House was a treat. The Blues PBS Series by Martin Scorsese and others along with the parallel series hosted by Keb' Mo' on NPR have been great.
I finally had my chance to see the Clint Eastwood directed show on Piano Blues last night. With folks like Ray Charles, Marcia Ball, and Dr. John on the show I was disappointed I missed it the first time around. It was a very nice show but Mr. Eastwood made a statement that irks me. He said something to the effect that 'Jazz and Blues are Americas only truly native music forms'.
I've heard this kind of thing out of many genre proponents and it strikes me as incredibly myopic.
Let's see I think Americans are largely responsible for Jazz, Blues, Country, Bluegrass, Western Swing, Ragtime, Rockabilly, New Orleans Brass Bands, Rap/Hip-Hop, Cajun, Zydeco, Funk, R&B, Surf, Gospel, various types of Folk, and the 6 ton elephant in the room Rock & Roll. And I'm sure I'm missing some including, say, Native American musics.
Americans can claim significant contributions to Tex-Mex, Kelezmer, Celtic, Latin, and World Musics of all sorts. Likewise many non-Americans can claim heavy influences on our 'native' forms. The whole "British Invasion" started with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and others bringing Blues music to the white population. All these genre divisions are fairly arbitrary anyway. Those lines are crossed regularly... and they are being crossed with increasing frequency.