Jazz music prospered in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Jazz was created by African Americans to represent pain and suffering and also represented the adversity that racial tension brought. (Scholastic) African American performers like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie “Bird” Parker came to be recognized for their ability to overcome “race relati...
I decided to do my research paper on Duke Ellington who was a famous jazz composer, and pianist. Ellington gained national fame in the mid-1920s, through his appearances at the Cotton Club with his orchestra. Ellington is considered one of the most famous jazz composers of his time.
Musicians during the Harlem Renaissance created a style and movement that simply took Americans by storm. Musicians such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong have inspired others all over the country. The Renaissance itself was not only an observation of life for African Americans, but it also showed Americans that they have a place in society. All of the musicians, writers, and artists shared a common purpose. This purpose was to create art that reflected the Afro American community. Through this era, African Americans provided themselves with their cultural roots and a promise for a better future. Music in this era was the beginning. It was the beginning of new life for musicians and African Americans.
The music of the Harlem Renaissance - including jazz, swing, and big band - was an inherent expression of the joyous revolt from the confinement of racial prejudice experienced by African Americans. Jazz became extremely popular in Harlem in the 1920s. Historians agree that the musical genre of jazz was most i...
The word “jazz” did not become commonplace until around 1920 even though it had spent the preceding decade establishing itself as a musical genre. A mix of European harmony and African rhythm, blended with the current styles of the time such as ragtime and rhythm and blues, Jazz can be seen as an amalgamation of different cultures and has had huge influences on, and evolved concurrently with, American society in the past century. The birthplace of jazz is the subject of much more controversy than its undoubted influence on society. The most commonly reported and, in my view, logical birthplace of jazz is New Orleans. Being a port city (with people migrating from all over the world), it was a melting pot of diverse racial composition. Atkins (1995, p18) observes that unlike the stern protestant ethic found elsewhere in the south, the attitudes prevailing in New Orleans encouraged dance and music. It was a city with a great culture of celebration and rich music tradition, a city with a nightlife that allowed musicians to play with, and learn from, one another. These elements united in New Orleans in a way unrivaled by any other city and were crucial influences in the creation of jazz’s identity. Since its birth, jazz has spread across the globe like anything contagious. The more people were exposed the more it evolved. It has seen more than a century of humanities growth, from slavery in the early 1900s to America’s first black president and everything in between. It has been used as a creative emotional outlet by not only the African Americans but by people of all racial backgrounds and, to this day, is still evolving.
The word “jazz” is significant to America, and it has many meanings. Jazz could simply be defined as a genre or style of music that originated in America, but it can also be described as a movement which “bounced into the world somewhere about the year 1911…” . This is important because jazz is constantly changing, evolving, adapting, and improvising. By analyzing the creators, critics, and consumers of jazz in the context of cultural, political, and economic issue, I will illustrate the movement from the 1930’s swing era to the birth of bebop and modern jazz.
Jazz music’s roots go deeper than most people could ever begin to imagine. Whether it is the influencing of other styles of music, the broadening of other media forms, or even the molding and shaping of the atmosphere of entire cities, jazz usually has a part in it. And with an impressive career spanning over 50 years, countless hits that are being replicated in numerous forms even today, and the pivotal part that he played in the Harlem Renaissance , it is almost impossible to talk about anything jazz related without mentioning Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington.
What is Jazz? According to the dictionary, jazz is defined as, "A kind of syncopated, highly rhythmic music originated by Southern blacks in the late 19th century" ("Jazz" 232). But, everyone should at least agree that jazz is the mother of all music, and is referred to as the only art form originating in the United States ("History 101" 2). America was home to immigrants from all over Europe and beyond who wished to build a new life, or just needed to escape from the old. These people, often thought of as second-class, brought their culture with them to America, expressed it musically, and changed the music world as we know it today.
In the early 1900’s African American musicians from various European cultures created a new style of music, known as Jazz. New Orleans is known as the birth place of Jazz with the French and Spanish migrants shaping early New Orleans’ culture. Settlers from other European countries including Italy, England and Germany combined Blues, Ragtime and Big Band Music to create what we now call Jazz.