Story of Jazz Video Notes

by Kassandra Grullon

Background & Roots


– No single person originated Jazz

-Jazz is spontaneous and almost instant swing like.

– What distinguishes Jazz from all other Western Music is it’s upbeat feel.

– The story of Jazz is the story of creative artist who created the new music. 

– Jazz was not Originally named jazz the name just came about as the music genre progressed. 

Deeply infiltrated in West Africa. 

– Jazz drew its strength from multiple cultures. 

– Began when Slaves were taken to the Caribbean and brought into contact with the Religion and Culture of the Europeans. 

– Slave congregations in now Congo Square planted the seeds of Jazz. 

– The banjo layed the foundation for the Western African and European mix of Jazz with its ragged syncopation style. 


Important Cities that Fostered the Spread of Jazz

New Orleans

-New Orleans was the Birth place of Jazz Music 

– The Ethnic mix of people, Dances, Picnics, Parades fostered the beginnings of Jazz

-New Orleans was a melting pot of Caribbean, African, and European cultures with their own cultures and music. These three cultures provided the musical bones of what makes up the Jazz genre. 

-The entertainment business in New Orleans offered good work to good musicians. This provided the perfect environment for the cultivation and spread of the new art form. 


– Northern industrial cities became the home of Jazz as southern migrants moved further north during the Great Migration. 

– As Southerners began to play their musical sound in the city of Chicago the New Orleans sound of Jazz began to spread though the city. 

– Jazz competed the social upheaval that made the 20’s roar. 

– Chicago became the hot bed of Jazz after New Orleans. 

New York City

– New York City developed its own aeration of jazz music. 

-People Started to migrate to Harlem, New York and so did the musical sound of Jazz. 

– Harlem became the cultural center of Black America. 

– New York City’s Cotton Club was the hub of Jazz musical and was influential in the growth and spread of the genre. 

– The Cotton Club gave nightlife and Jazz music a new meaning.  

Kansas City

– Kansas City became the hub of Mid and South Western Jazz band activity. 

– Band activity and life blossomed and brought in musicians from all America. 

– African American musicians were in high demand in white dancehalls, clubs, and African American Jazz clubs.

– AS a result of the high demand of Jazz musicians the genre was heard on every street and propelled Jazz to big bands. 

Kansas local scene led to new Jazz style the Boogie Woogie. 

Jazz Abroad

– In 1919 Will Marion Cook took tour of London with the Southern Syncopated Orchestra & Jazz attracted the classical world of London. 

– White conductor Earnest Ansaermet heard Cooks sound and created the first Jazz review. 

Influential Jazz Figures

Louis Monreau Gottschalk

– First American international concert composer 

– Thrilled Audiences with sounds that echoed what he heard in Congo Square , New Orleans. 

Scott Joplin

– African American composer influenced by the sounds of Gottschalk

– Ragtime Extension of Gottschalk’s work 

– Master of Ragtime that flourished in the Mid-west & spread to the rest of the Country, having a considerable influence over musicians that shaped Jazz. 

Louis Armstrong

– “Father of Jazz & organized solos “

– Pattern Followed by all Jazz artist, his musical elements are heard in all Jazz musicians. 

– Considered all aspects of music. 

– Inspired by the work of Joe King Oliver

– One if not the greatest Jazz Trumpet soloist.

– Profound influence on Jazz trumpet players and social life. 

– Consolidated all aspects of Jazz music that existed before him.

-Highest level of instrumental virtuosity 

Joe King Oliver

– Went to Chicago and adopted to their customs. 

– Hired Lil Hardin one of the first female pianist in Jazz. 

– Became the biggest Jazz name in Chicago. 

Earl Hines

– impacted by Louis Armstrong.

– Most Significant piano player in Jazz by implanting Armstrong’s ideas to piano playing. 

James B. Johnson

– Pianist composer

–  combined ragtime and Jazz. 

– Created a new style of Jazz with pianos called “stride”. 

Coleman Hawkins

– Inspired by Armstrong’s veracity and style. 

– established saxophone as a serious Jazz instrument. 

Duke Ellington

– 1923 Arrived in New York City.

– Sophisticated stomping roar and vibrant sulky swing of the Ellington Orchestra  become symphonies with the cultural renaissance taking place in Harlem, New York.

– Suave piano playing

– Delivered his own version of the stride movement to a more classical sound. 

– Wide range and rhythm of music encompassed in his music. 

– most comprehensive music of al composers. Had Jazz fir dancing, listening, entertainment, and fine art.  

Mary Lou Wiliams

– Leading Lady of Modern Jazz. 

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