Although the dictionary describes jazz as an American musical art form which originated in African American communities, there are no words to describe the sound jazz has carried through the ages.
The invisible line of racial segregation in the early 1900's made it hard for newly freed African Americans to find work. Black citizens were forced to take jobs as entertainers in bars, brothels, dances and clubs. As fate would have it though, jazz music was born from the new sound of ragtime music these musicians came up with. The sound caught on like a wild fire and intrigued the likes of Scott Joplin and Claude Debussy.
Jazz aficionados mostly attribute the city of New Orleans to the music's roots. Through music played at local brothels as well as the sounds of marching bands in funeral processions, jazz caught its intriguing beat.
In the 1920's and 1930's, the Jazz Age made its grand entrance. A man with a voice of gold named Louis Armstrong formed his band during this time. One of jazz music's' greatest composers, George Gershwin took the world by storm with his beautiful “Rhapsody in Blue.” All over the country, jazz music was looked at in different lights, ranging from enlightening to immoral. Swing clubs were born and America's youth put their feet to work with the new hip collective sound of jazz.
DixieLand, BeBop and Cool Jazz emerged in the 1940's and 1950's. The sweet melodies of Miles Davis lit up the room and took jazz music to a whole new level. Never disappointing, jazz kept up its reputation and produced a whole new genre of music including Latin Jazz and Soul Jazz in the 1960's and 1970's.
The last 2 decades have brought about many exciting yet straightforward forms of jazz. This beloved music art form has inspired many a singer and songwriter. To hear a jazz song is to see inside an artists' soul. The richly diverse takes on jazz throughout the last century have helped to shape not only a culture but a way of life.
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