Jazzin’ it Up


The jazz genre originated in New Orleans. Once Jim Crow laws were enforced, Creoles, who were classically trained, showcased their talents to African Americans which led to the creation of jazz music. It is known as the pinnacle of African American music in the 20th century.


Jazz music consisted of blues and ragtime styles. The genre was also big on using improvisation in its music. Instruments were the main focus in this style of music. There are also different types of jazz music. Cool jazz had a relaxed and lighter sound. Bebop jazz had fast tempos and improvisation based on the harmonic structure. Hard jazz combined the blues, R&B,  and gospel music.

Social Implications:

Jazz music spread due to The Great Migration which allowed more people to hear and experience jazz music. Also, with the enforcement of Jim Crow, Creoles were no longer allowed to be in social settings with whites, which led them to listen and follow after black musicians.

Important Performers:

Jelly Roll Morton was a Creole jazz musician. He was the first to write out his compositions. Buddy Bolden is known as the first man to lead the first jazz band. He is also known as the first man of jazz. Bolden is known for his improvisation and his great abilities on the trumpet. Other important performers to note are Freddie Kepler, Nat King Cole, and Louis Armstrong.

Buddy Bolden
Jelly Roll Martin


In 1917, The Original Dixie Land Jazz Band recorded the first jazz record and sold copies that went for 75 cents each.  The first jazz record was made by white people, where they benefited off the profit and received both fame and credit. But, early jazz musicians worked in clubs and were paid from those events.

Influences on Future Genres:

Jazz reinvented itself a after traditional jazz became less popular. There is bebop jazz, cool jazz, hard bop jazz, modal jazz, free jazz, and fusion. Jazz also had an impact on R&B and soul.

Conclusory Opinions:

I think jazz is a very different and unique sound of music. I think they had a huge impact on music today and “improvisation” wouldn’t be a thing without the jazz genre.

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