Jazz music through the ages
Although the dictionary describes jazz as an American musical art form that originated in African-American communities, there are no words to describe the sound that jazz has transmitted through the centuries.
The invisible line of racial segregation in the early 1900s made it difficult for newly freed African Americans to find work. Black citizens were forced to accept jobs as entertainers in bars, brothels, dances, and clubs. However, as fate would have it, jazz music was born from the new sound of ragtime music that these musicians came up with. The sound caught like wildfire and intrigued the likes of Scott Joplin and Claude Debussy.
Jazz fans primarily attribute the city of New Orleans to the roots of music. Through the music played at local brothels, as well as the sounds of marching bands at funeral processions, jazz captured its intriguing rhythm.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the Jazz Age made its grand entrance. A man with a golden voice named Louis Armstrong formed his band during this time. One of the greatest composers of jazz music, George Gershwin conquered the world with his beautiful “Rhapsody in Blue”. Across the country, jazz music is viewed in different ways, from enlightening to immoral. Swing clubs were born and American youth got to work with the new collective hip sound of jazz.
DixieLand, BeBop, and Cool Jazz all emerged in the 1940s and 1950s. Miles Davis’ sweet tunes lit up the room and took jazz music to a whole new level. Never disappointing, jazz maintained its reputation and produced an entirely new genre of music that included Latin Jazz and Soul Jazz in the 1960s and 1970s.
The last two decades have spawned many exciting yet simple forms of jazz. This beloved musical art form has inspired many singers and songwriters. To listen to a jazz song is to see inside the soul of an artist. The rich diversity of jazz performances over the past century has helped shape not only a culture, but also a way of life.