“the pinnacle of African American music in the twentieth century, distinguished by the originality of its improvisation, the virtuosity, and erudition of is performers and composers, and its professionalism and artistry. “

What is Jazz?

Jazz is an improvisational and syncopated form of music, created in New Orleans in the 1920s by African American musicians. Jazz was made popular by artists such as, Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, Ella Fitzgerald, Mary Lou Williams and Louis Armstrong. Due to its improvisational nature, Jazz has taken many different directions. The sub-genres of Jazz that exist today are Big Band Jazz, Swing, Cool Jazz, Hard bop, Modal Jazz, Free Jazz, and Fusion. Though largely improvisational, Jazz is very rhythmic. It has a forward momentum called “swing” and uses “bent” or “blue” notes. Additionally, Jazz is mostly solo pieces or call and response. Artist use Jazz to express emotions such as pain, nostalgia, or happiness. Important instruments in jazz include, the saxophone, the piano, the drums and trumpet. Today, many believe Jazz to be a dying artistry, however, the legacy is has had on music will never due.

Example of Jazz

Famous Jazz Artists

Sonny Rollins

Background Sonny Rollins was born “Theodore Walter Rollins” on September 7, 1930 in New York City. As a child, he started as a pianist, but

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George Benson

George Benson © Charlyn Zlotnik, Date Unknown Official WebsiteGeorge Benson- Give Me The Night George Benson at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill About George

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Mary Lou Williams

Early Beginnings of Born on May 8th, 1910 in Atlanta, Georgia, Mary Lou Williams was considered to be a young musical prodigy. She was trained

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By: Gygeria Manuel & Jeshurun Adarquah-Yiadom