“The Story of Jazz” notes by Gia Tejeda

Gia Tejeda

The Story of Jazz

  • Jazz was born in New Orleans about 100 years ago (early 20th century), but its roots can be found in the musical traditions of both Africa and Europe; in fact, some people say that jazz is a union of African and European music.
  • Jazz is instant swing. Jazz is on the upbeat, and the downbeat is just as important.
  • Jazz is the first music that is representative of world culture. 
  • Its roots are deeply entrenched in West Africa
  • The mix of music that became jazz started when Africans were brought to America through slavery
  • The greatest instrument was the banjo
  • Buddy bolden became the music’s first authentic legend. Louis Armstrong was the father of jazz. 
    • He consolidated all of the aspects of jazz music that existed before he came. He had the highest level of instrumental virtuosity. 
    • He is also the father of the organized solo. New Orleans provided the environment for a new and fresh art form. 
  • Jazz’s appeal was birthed in New Orleans but expanded far beyond the swamps. Jelly Roll Morton came east to perform in Chicago and Detroit. When other white musicians began to perform jazz, they made the first recorded jazz. 
  • Southern black audiences became receptive to blues and jazz. Jaz is what made the 20s roar.
  • Armstrong found a white player that would play a significant role in his career.
  • Creative people fled to Harlem, a hub for talent and nightlife
  • The ellington orchestra became synonymous with black culture in Harlem
  • Jazz was the soundtrack for a night out in Harlem
  • Jazz was entertainment, a refined art style…
  • Kansas local scene–pete johnson, led to boogie woogie, which led to a craze in the 1940s
  • Mary Lou WIlliams would become one of the first leading ladies of modern jazz
  • Jazz became America’s most popular music

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