Notes on The Story of Jazz Documentary

By Kaitlin Britton Wheeler

There originally was no name for what jazz was when it first came into the music scene. It was just a way of playing instruments that everyone loved. Jazz was originally seen as “sin music” by those who truly didn’t understand its purpose and power.

Jazz is the first style of music that is representative of world culture, according to the documentary. As all African American genres usually do, Jazz traces its roots back to enslaved Africans in America who brought over culture and music from the motherland.

Louis Armstrong (pictured to the left)  is regarded as the “father of Jazz.”

Buddy Bolden (pictured to the right) is regarded as the genre’s “first authentic legend.”

The first version of jazz, Traditional Jazz, was born in New Orleans. Then, artists like Jelly Roll Morton, helped to expand it to other popular cities like Chicago and Detroit. 

Jazz pianist Sam Wooding is able to expand the reach of jazz to places like Spain, Germany, and even countries in South America. 


Jazz becomes known as the music “that made the 20s roar”

The upbeat, lively feeling of the genre carried the decade! The genre went from being underground to the most popular genre in the nation at its peak. It even became recognized across the world.

Mary Lou Williams and Ella Fitzgerald (pictured above) are recognized as some of the most influential women in the genre.

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