Jazz music is a distinct style of American music that developed in the early decades of the 20th century. Its roots include many African-American folk music traditions like spirituals, work songs and blues. It borrowed its style of piano playing from 19th century band music and  ragtime. Jazz has influenced and been influenced by traditional classical music and popular music. Although jazz has a relatively short history, it has developed several distinct styles. 

The distinctive elements of jazz include rhythm, patterns, harmonic practices that are related to practice harmony and improvisation. Dixieland is an important style of jazz music that got its name because the center of its development was in New Orleans. Dixieland jazz typically is performed by a small ensemble that consists of a clarinet, trumpet and trombone accompanied with a drum or banjo. Swing is another distinctive style that is performed by a larger ensemble of saxophones, trumpets and trombones typically with three to five players on each instrument. Bebop or bop is the next style of jazz that is characterized by complex harmonies, rapid tempos and intense rapid lines. Free form jazz is a radical extension of bebop that is improvised freely without the support of a previous melody, harmony or pattern. 


Some notable influencers in the jazz genre include Louis Armstrong who was a dominant artist in the Dixieland era. He became an international figure in popular culture. 

Duke Ellington is another whose compositions for his big swing band and the imagination in their performances set a standard for jazz artistry. 

Charles Parker was a leader of the Bop movement. He created the style in the 40s in New York. Other musicians all over the world latched on to his style of music.