The Jazz Era 1930's-1940's

by: Leilany Reyes

The 1930’s-1940’s were a prominent time for racism and segregation as African Americans were considered “Colored folk” and still not allowed into certain bars while it led to the era of Jim Crow. During this period of time, blues slowly phased into the jazz age due to it’s rising popularity with upcoming artists like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington , Joe Oliver, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, etc. Specifically in this decade, people like Louis Armstrong paved the way for many African American jazz artists as he was labeled the father of  jazz ; although he was an African American musician, whether a person was Caucasian or not his music was well known and respected.

In that same period of time, people like Billie Holiday quickly rose to fame during the Great Depression as she and Bessie Smith were one of the first African American women to sing to jazz music.Within the same period of time, Ella Fitzgerald became the first woman to intertwine jazz and pop music making her the queen of scat. Although many of us were living in time of of heavy racism and discrimination, Jazz was one of many forms of music that became widespread throughout the country as both Caucasians and African Americans were drawn to this type of music. The music in the 1930’s-1940’s , known as the Jazz era was a way to bring culture into a segregated country and bridge the differences between African Americans and our counterparts as it appealed to both audiences.

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