The Melting Pot

In the most musical city in the country, the most American art form was born. In the early 20th century Jazz music was created in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jazz was influenced by almost every musical form preceding it but it could not have come about without the influence of Ragtime and the Blues.

Jazz was the first genre to utilize improvisation or a lack of repetition. While listening to a jazz song you are likely to hear the sounds of the saxophone, piano, drums, and the trumpet. Jazz could not be what it is today without the creation of its subsets: cool, bebop, hard-bop, free, modal, and fusion.

Some of the most famous musicians include Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Louis Armstrong. Some people consider Armstrong to be the American musical Shakespeare or a special messenger. However it wasn’t until after the first world war that black jazz musicians found fame.

In my opinion the biggest influence of Jazz music could be given to the many different cultures found in New Orleans. Caribbean, French, Italian, blacks, and whites were forced to live together and what each people brought to the city influenced the overall culture of the city and Jazz music.

Because jazz created so many different sounds it had the opportunity to influence many different genres. New Orleans is known for its wildness and its festive nature and when jazz was born it was a time of freedom and liberation. That’s exactly how jazz can be described wild, festive, free, and liberating.




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