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.