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THE HISTORY OF JAZZ

The word “jazz” comes from a term of the 1860s jasm which means “pep, energy.” Jazz is a traditional American music genre with African-American background. It originates from New Orleans in the African American community of Louisiana. It started in the late 19th centuries as a musical expression entangled with slave folk songs and musical expression from West Africa musical culture. Early Jazz has its tone from ragtime, blue and it style encompasses polyrhythm, swings, improvisation and blue notes and its performance. Jazz became a popular musical genre in the 1920s becoming known its mixture of European American and African America artistic style, west African cultural expression and European Military band music. Jazz is a unique art form of its style. Jazz brought about the word “hip” and “cool” and also the invention of the drum set. When jazz started spreading across the world, many regions created their style and culture of the music in a distinguished way. The earliest records of jazz were in New Orleans in the 1840s. There were festivals on Sundays with African dances and songs at Congo Square in New Orleans. There were also festivals associated with harvest days.

New Orleans Jazz began in the 1910s, characterized by the combination of blues, French quadrilles, biguine, and brass-band with polyphonic improvisation. In the 1930s, the famous jazz style was the Kansas City jazz.

It was jazz style characterized by blues, a hard-swinging, improvisational and dance-oriented swing a method also know for its emphasis of Musette waltzes. In the 1940s came the emergence of the Bebop style, a jazz played at fast tempos and chord improvisation. Later in the late 1940s was Cool jazz. Distinguished with smoother sounds, calmer and linear melodic lines. Free jazz emerged in the early 1950s; it was a jazz with no beat, formal structure, and meters. And in the mid-1950s was hard bop and was characterized with piano, saxophone and a blend of rhythm and blues, gospel and blues. After hard bop was modal jazz, it emerged in the late 1950s and was the most popular jazz at the time. It features the use of musical scale and improvisation. In the late 1960s and early 1970s was Jazz-rock fusion. It was a style that combined rock’s electric instruments, rhythms and amplified sounds with jazz improvisation. However, in the early 1980s was the smooth jazz; it was a trendy and famous style and got lots of airplay on the radio. Finally, in the 2000s, we have the Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz.

Jazz music promotes black culture and history and often seen as a contribution of African American to the American society. Both the black and white musicians have contributed significantly to the greatness of jazz music there have been lots of great female performer women like Ella Fitzgerald, Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln and Adelaide Hall. There was a great female band, The International Sweethearts of Rhythms which was founded in 1937 making them first all-women group in the country.

GREAT JAZZ MUSICIAN OF TODAY

Jazz, like every other type of music, is entertaining, soothing and relaxing. Several musicians have played a pivotal role in making swing one of the best music in the world. Jazz fans all over the world know some of the great icons that took a swing into the limelight, but today, only a few know the famous jazz musician of today. The jazz musician of nowadays has helped us add more theme of the modern day to make jazz more fun to listen and enjoy. Below are some of the great jazz musicians of today.

GREGORY PORTER

Gregory Porter is a California-born songwriter and singer. Gregory’s music careers started around 20 years ago, though he did not become popular until he moved to New York and began performing music regularly at Harlem’s ST. Nick’s Pub before his career. Gregory released his first album, Water, produced by famous Jazz saxophonist and pianist Kamau Kenyatta in 2010. His third album titled liquid spirit earned him a Grammy award for the best jazz vocal album in 2013, and this has cemented his standing as a potential jazz legend. NPR Music also hails porter as the best next excellent jazz singer.

ESPERANZA SPALDING

Esperanza Spalding is a Portland, Oregon born jazz singer, cellist, and bassist. The star displayed fascinating talents right from her early age of playing violin with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. Esperanza burst into the Jazz music scene with her debut album Junjo in 2006, receiving positive reviews from the New York Times critic Ratliff Ben. Ever since then, Spalding has won several Grammy award that includes the Best New Artist of 2010 is the very first to win this title. She also won the best Jazz Vocal album of the year 2012’s Radio Music Society. Her fifth album was titled Emily’s Devolution, and this was sung beautifully by the alter ego of Emily; Spalding’s middle name. She has been acclaimed globally ever since the release of the album in 2016.

ROBERT GLASPER

Robert is a famous jazz pianist and producer. Glasper may not be your typical jazz musician, taking into consideration his combination of jazz with different styles such as the hip-hop and R&B, yet his superb mix of Glasper has made him stand out among his fellow contemporaries. During his 20’s, he had already performed with jazz greats of all time such as Christian McBride and Terence Blanchard followed by a succession of well-appreciated album that includes Double Booked that was Grammy nominated in 2009. His stunning release of Black Radio further proved his credibility and the perfect fusion he made with R&B accorded him the 2013 Grammy award for the Best R&B album. In May 2016, Glasper released a new album titled everything beautiful that featured a lot of first-class collaborators.

Either you are a passionate lover of jazz, or you just started to listen to jazz music. You should the songs are sung by this brilliant musicians to have the best listening experience from jazz. You can also check out www.alextheatre.org for their ranking rules.

WHERE TO HEAR GREAT JAZZ MUSIC

Jazz is one of worlds’ great and fine forms of art. It is a type of music that blends different types of cultures: African rhythms, American band instrument, spiritual elements and blues to the brass and reeds. Rhythms and harmony are an essential part of jazz, but they are as important has spontaneity. The history, technique, and improvisation have now come together to form a breathing, living art form. Jazz is enjoyed most during the live performances. Jazz venues are not usually the normal convention concert halls. The performances stages are often located in intimate performance spaces where listeners can immerse and commit themselves to the music. If you are thinking of a place for your night out you should check out these jazz venues to enjoy the one kind experience of jazz you’ve always wished. Here are some of the jazz venues you should seek out to have an enjoyable experience of jazz.

MANHATTAN NEW YORK

Located in Manhattan, New York, Max Gordon established the Village Vanguard and the current Village vanguard location in 1935. His wife now manages the Village Vanguard. The Low Down has pushed boundary by famous actors like Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, and John Coltrane, in the red-lit corner of the venue. At the Low Down today artist plays for six days in a row, and the location makes it easy for the city to embrace them and grow within the New York’s most hallowed and oldest jazz club. Visit gearpatrol.com and thrillist.com to see more reviews about jazz clubs.

SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA

The SFJAZZ is an architectural masterpiece that won the award for the slew of design awards that features a performance hall that is designed with incredible acoustic and high visibility. Top musicians from all around the world always come to grace the stage of SFJAZZ every night, and its community outreach programs is another feature that sets the venue apart. The SFJAZZ was opened in 2013, and since then it has been offering world-class performances and several innovative and educational programs. There is a programme titled Jazz in the Middle at the SFJAZZ that brings together diverse talents from different high schools to perform together and learn. There is also a rotation eight-man group that consists of top jazz musicians that are commissioned to give a good repertoire and tour with it. Promoting creativity and advancing the art form to the more significant height.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

One of the best places to listen to jazz is the Big Easy. It is one of the most-loved venues. One of the fantastic spots at the site is The Spotted Cat Music Club or as it is called The Cat. It’s creaking and cramped just like anything else in Nola, but it makes an eclectic mash-up of jazz, blues, and Latin music. Drinks are also served drinks fast and cheap. It caters to both the herd of tourists and locals. The only disadvantage is that you won’t find credit cards or food around here.