The Trends, People and Events that Sparked the Emergence of Jazz
When West African tribes were brought to the New World in chains, they carried their music and traditions with them. The powerful rhythms of African percussion influenced American music. Slave work songs were created in the African tradition of call-and-response.
Spirituals and work songs are part of the foundation of the American art form, known as jazz. Also, in the early 1890s the blues emerged from these traditions. In performing the blues, singers used the power of their voices to express their feelings.
In the mid to late 1800s, many Europeans immigrated to America's cities seeking their fortunes in the New World. French quadrilles, Spanish flamenco, Irish jigs, German waltzes and many more musical traditions arrived in our cities and ports.
Popular song was divided into a number of different genres, they included Male Quarters, Parlor Ballads, Minstrel Songs, Broadway Show Tunes, Topical Songs, Brass Band Music and Blues.
Just prior to and during the period of World War I, The Creole Band, a group made up of black New Orleans musicians, was part of a touring vaudeville company that brought jazz music to many parts of the country.
What are the ingredients that make a song into a “jazz standard”? Generally, a contributing factor to a song becoming a standard is due to an important jazz recording, and then America would feel the effects of a prohibition upon alcoholic beverages, a unique experiment that did little to quell American’s taste for liquor but helped to bolster live music. Stay tuned as we dig deep inside “The Swinging Big Bang”
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