Jazz timeline to the 1940s

Buddy Bolden- Dixieland 

Jazz stemmed from Blues, Ragtime,Spirituals, Caribbean, and white European music. It began in the early 1900s. Cross culture assimilation thrived in New Orleans. Jazz grew in congo square before the civil war. Former slaves would go to the congo square and make music while people danced to vent pain and celebrate freedom. Soon, the first version of jazz started, Trad Jazz. Buddy Bolden is one of the most important musicians to mention when speaking of Trad Jazz. He improvised with his horn and people loved it. He is often referred to as the Father of jazz. He had a very significant role in the development of jazz.  King Oliver was also known as a Trad Jazz musician. Oliver was a cornet player and was in a Jazz band. He had a different playing style than Bolden. Trad jazz is soft and melodious. Traditional Jazz is a band of trumpets, clarinets, and trombones. Improve while staying with the melody. 


Duke Ellington- It Don’t Mean a Thing

From the 1920s-1940s swing was big. Swing was interactive. People dance to it, tap, clap, and snap. It emphasizes the off beat. It incorporates soloists that typically improvise. Duke Ellington was a famous composer in Jazz and he participated in swing. He has the famous song “It Don’t Mean a Thing (if it dont have that swing)”. Billie Holiday, also known as “Lady Day” was a famous swing singer and influenced women in Jazz. She was influenced by Bessie Smith. Louis Armstrong born and raised in New Orleans, is one of America’s most influential jazz performers. He played the trumpet.Swing has a four beat rhythm developed by Louis Armstrong. Change in rhythm started first with solo pianists and small ensembles, then larger ensembles towards the end of the decade.


After the war Be Bop formed. Much faster than swing. In the mid 1940s Jazz musicians were starting away from social conformity and got into bebop. Bebop was not music people could really dance to and people did not initially know how to take it. However, the musicians were shifting towards showcasing their talents over entertainment. Miles Davis was a well known bebop artist and he was very influential. Dizzy Gillispie is another famous bebop player.Gillespie played trumpet and he has many popular songs, including “Salt Peanuts”. Sarah Vaughan had an opportunity to flourish song with other female jazz singers given that lots of men went off to war. She was most known for her rich voice and sound.

Salt Peanuts-Dizzy Gillespie .

Cool Jazz started in the 1940s. It originates from bebop and swing. Relaxed tempo and lighter tone. Miles Davis is known to have “invented” cool jazz. One of his famous cool jazz songs is “So What”.

Miles Davis-So What

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