Artist Page: Etta James

The Best Of Etta James Nicknamed “Miss Peaches,” singer Etta James (legally known as Jamesetta Hawkins) is known as “The Matriarch of R&B.”  A versatile singer successful in the R&B, doo-wop, pop, rock, funk, gospel and jazz genres, James’ was known and is renown for her deeply soulful and extraordinary voice regardless of her controversial […]

Chill Out with Cool Jazz

Origins of Cool Jazz As a genre, jazz originated in New Orleans as traditional jazz. New Orleans was a breeding ground for jazz because of its aquatic access, extensive cultural heritage, and celebratory freedoms. The marching band celebrations of Congo Square were transformed into traditional jazz through Charles Bolden’s artistic ingenuity. Throughout the 20th century, […]

Black Classical

Origin of the Genre Unlike other African American music genres. The classical genre was not created by blacks. The earliest recorded classical time period is the medieval period ( 500-1400).  Although the term ” classical music” was not used until the 19th century during the time of Johann Sebastian Bach. Even though this genre was preexisting, African […]

Timeless: African-American Ingenuity in Classical Preservation

Origin Unlike the previously mentioned genres of African-American music, classical music was not birthed by Black people. Dating back to as early as 500 during the Medieval Times, classical music is known as one of the oldest music genres. Classical music has existed through many Western eras, such as Renaissance (1400-1600), Baroque (1600-1750), Classical (1730-1820), […]

A Slight Deviation: Classical Music

The Classical genre is a slight deviation amongst the other genres we’ve discussed because African Americans did not create it. In the Medieval period, the majority of music that was sung was in the form of plainchant or “Gregorian” chant. Plainchants are characterized as songs with a single melodic line, oftentimes without accompaniment. Gregorian chants […]

The Here and Now of Blues Music

Blues Origins The secular art of the blues originated in the Mississippi Delta as a sister to sacred spirituals. For this reason, early forms of blues music were noted as the Delta Blues. The genre blossomed throughout the black communities in the Southern United States. Blues debuted as a successor to the harmonic structure of […]

Crazy Blues

Origin of the Genre The blues originated in the 1890s and was played all throughout the South.  It was created by African Americans as a form of expression of the trials they were going through during their day to day lives. Blues has roots in negro folk music, chants, and work songs. Characteristics Blues is […]


Origin of the Genre Ragtime is a genre created by African Americans in the late 1800s. Ragtime was birthed within black communities. It was a product of the folk-blues genre. During slavery, slaves would perform songs that were favored by their master and other whites. African instruments used such as the banjo and fiddle slightly altered […]

The Captivation with Syncopation: An Introduction to Ragtime

Origins “Ragging” was first established with an adornment of rhythmic patterns, originating in cities of the midwest. It first emerged near the end of the 19th century and further gained popularity up until 1920. The genre materialized from the folk blues and marches. Many of the first ragtime artists were illiterate, so the music was […]

Ragtime and Ownership of our Intricacies

Ragtime emerged as a genre before it was given a name. Like its syncopated rhythmic patterning, ragtime burst onto the scene of music during the late 1800s. The name, being undefined for some time, gave way to the flexibility and evolution of the genre into areas of performance and arts separate to music. Skipping into […]

Racism in Ragtime

Origins of Ragtime Ragtime, which peaked in popularity between 1896 and 1920, emerged out of the Folk-Blues genre and from the ways enslaved people played fiddles and banjos.  After slavery ended and the Civil War, Black Americans were only allowed to play their music at “venues of low reputation,” such as bars and brothels, which […]

How’m I Doin’ : Jubilee Quartets

Origin of the Genre The African American quartet appeared in the mid-1800s. Jubilee is a genre that contains narrative text, either secular or religious. It is usually sung in moderate or fast tempo. Jubilee came around during the nineteenth century, it was a product of the University singing movement which emerged after the Civil War. […]

Negro Spirituals and Folk- Where it all began

                                                              As far back as the 1600s, African Americans have been dispositioned and impacted by the doings of colonizers and imperialists. Looking into the 1700s, […]