A Brief History of Jazz Music

Jazz Music pic
Jazz Music
Image: scaruffi.com

Odis Jones of Detroit oversees operations at MVP Capital Ventures as managing partner. In the course of his career as a public finance and development leader, he has managed over 30,000 public garages, parking lot spaces, and parking meters and been featured in numerous industry publications. In his free time, Odis Jones of Detroit enjoys listening to jazz music.

Jazz developed in New Orleans during the early 20th century, born from blues music and the celebratory spirit of New Orleans at the time. Before the genre was created, musicians in New Orleans filled the city streets with brass-band, blues, and ragtime tunes. Around the late 1800s, brass bands were the norm around New Orleans. Most bands played a mix of ragtime, blues, and traditional dance music–a unique combination that echoed the melting-pot nature of the city.

Over time, African American folk and slave songs paved the way for the creation of jazz, as existing bands began highlighting individuals who were extremely talented at making music. While the genre’s most important innovators were African American, the music brought together all ethnic groups. It adopted its rhythm, expression, and blues quality from traditional African music and got its harmony and instruments from European music. Unlike blues music, which was performed only by African American musicians, jazz was performed by all ethnic groups.

As it moved into the 1910s, jazz began taking off. Its often upbeat tunes encouraged listeners to dance, and it spread outside of New Orleans to such areas as Chicago and New York City. Despite its growing popularity, it wasn’t until the 1920s that musicians began identifying themselves as jazz musicians and the phrase “jazz music” came into common use.

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