The Story of Jazz Notes

Kayla Roddey

Classical musicians have to master their instruments, Jazz musicians have to master their instruments and then give logic to the music.


Jazz music is unique because it is a fusion of all different types of music. Because of this, in the documentary Jazz represents the 1st type of world music.


Jazz has roots in West Africa but has been influenced by many different cultures over time. Jazz music began to form when African people were brought to the Caribbean as slaves and encountered European culture. Because New Orleans was the main port to America from the Caribbean, cultures continued to travel. Slaves would gather in New Orleans on Sundays to celebrate a few hours of leisure time which often incorporate music. 


Before jazz was jazz, it was ragtime. Scott Joplin had heard the music in New Orleans and it influenced his music years later. The music he wrote became popular ragtime and made its way back to New Orleans where it influenced musicians that gave Jazz its name.


Buddy Bolden became the 1st well-known jazz musician in New Orleans. He was a trumpeter/cornetist. 


Freddy Kepper- brought Jazz music to Los Angeles 


Jelly Roll Morton came to San Francisco in 1915. Much of his work anticipated the swing era.


Joe Oliver- became a huge name in Chicago. Louis Armstrong started playing in his band.


Louis Armstong- father of the organized solo, of jazz trumpet and is the personification of jazz music even today. He had influences on other jazz musicians, other greats such as Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie and also on American culture as a whole. He has been named the king of jazz


Original Dixieland Jazz Band- claimed to be the creators of jazz, were the first to record a jazz record, blacks were not allowed to record records until years later.


James P. Johnson created the stride Piano and also the Charleston.


As Harlem was becoming the cultural center for Black America, Duke Ellington’s music took over. His orchestra and the swing music they produced inspired the culture of places like the Cotton Club during the Cultural Renaissance in Harlem. Duke Ellington was a great composer. 


Jazz began to travel the world. Many African-American Jazz musicians began to take Jazz to places all over the world to places such as Paris, Spain and China.


William Basey- New Jersey Stride Pianist. He was very diverse in the ways in which he played the blues. He didn’t just play the traditional blues.

Mary Lou Williams- one of the 1st dominant female jazz musicians


In the 1930s, the most important promotion for a band was radio. This is the way that musicians and composers would be discovered and recruited for Hollywood. People like Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman were recruited this way. During this time, swing became the most popular form of music in America.

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