Origins of Jazz

You hear the word Jazz, and immediatly you think of saxophone solos, killer double bass riff in the background, and smooth chilled out guys playing them. It makes you want to move your body, it feels good and it sounds good.

Similar to Blues, Jazz originated from from a style of music called Ragtime, and came from African American communties in southern America. The word ‘Jazz’ is actually the slang term which was first used to refer to music from Chicago, in the 1910’s. Over the decades it has spawned new sub-genres:

  • Dixieland music, or Hot Jazz, Early Jazz or New Orleans Jazz in the 1910’s.
  • Big Band-style Swing, or Swing Jazz in the 1930’s and 40’s.
  • Bebop in mid 1940’s
  • In the 1950’s and 60’s Bossa Nova was a Brazilian twist on Jazz, creating a samba, Jazz style music. There was also Free Jazz in this time.
  • Jazz Fusion in the 1970’s, brought funk, R&B (Rhytm and Blues) together, with some added effects of Rock, it was also known as Jazz Rock.
  • Acid Jazz from the 1980’s was born, this combines the elements from funk and hip-hop and was developed in the UK.
  • Nu Jazz in the 1990’s, this is kind of mix of many musical elements from funk, soul, electronic dance music and free improvisation.

A list of typical intruments:

  • Saxophone
  • Clarinet
  • Flute
  • Vibraphone
  • Trumpet
  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Drums
  • Double Bass
  • Tuba
  • Banjo
  • Vocals
  • Trombone

As far as I am aware, there is no Jazz band that incorparates all these instruments at once.

A famous Jzz musician i’m sure you have heard of is Louis Armstrong, His music style was rather unusual, building solos to the highest point and holding very bright clarity and shakes and vibrato. He was however a very good musician of his time.


About Joe Sanchez Lawrance

I play guitar, I love rock n roll and I speak a little Portuguese.

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