Jazz

Jazz

Born in New Orleans with roots in ragtime and the blues.

Cultural Origin

Early 20th-century in New Orleans

Prominent Artists

Sidney Bechet, Betty Carter, Earl Garner, Coleman Hawkins, Fletcher Henderson, James P. Johnson, King Oliver, Art Tatum, Ethel Waters

Influenced By

Spirituals, work songs, Ragtime

Later Influenced

Swing, Jump Blues, Rhythm & Blues

A young Louis Armstrong with his band.
A young Louis Armstrong with his band.

About The Genre

Jazz was born in New Orleans in the early twentieth century and has roots in blues and ragtime. The diversity of the city, which included people of African, Caribbean, European, and Native American descent, was a prime mover to the creation of the genre.

Louis Armstrong was the most towering figure in early jazz and the father of modern jazz improvisation. Recordings of his early music inspired countless others to develop their own personal styles.

The imposition of Prohibition in the United States inadvertently inspired what is known as the Jazz Age. Illicit drinking establishments, known as speakeasies, hosted jazz bands, which led to jazz's reputation as immoral.

Today, jazz is seen as one of America's most significant contributions to the world of music.

Trivia/Famous Lyrics

DId you know...

At the age of 12, Louis Armstrong was arrested for firing a pistol into the air on New Year's Eve. He was sent to The Waif's Home (a reform school) for his transgression. At the reform school, Louis was introduced to the cornet (a trumpet-like instrument) and eventually played in a band.

Artists from this genre

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

Pops was the first superstar of jazz music.

Fats Waller

Fats Waller

The father of jazz piano.

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

Lady Day.

Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole

Jazz pianist and vocalist extradanaire.

MORE Genres from this era

Blues

Blues

Born in the Mississippi Delta.

Swing

Swing

The dominant form of American dance music for over a decade.

Country & Folk

Country & Folk

Black musical tradition is a part of its core.

Gospel

Gospel

The progeny of spirituals and cousin to the blues.