History of Jazz

  • Plantation Beginnings

    Plantation Beginnings
    Out of this plantation environment grew minstrelsy, the black-faced stage act that, whether performed by white or black actors, had become all the rage in Europe and America by the turn of the 20th century.

    The synthesis of this African rhythm and the European form it encountered goes back to the plantations of
    the South in the early 1800s
  • Dan Emmett

    Dan Emmett
    In 1842, Dan Emmett a American songwriter and entertainer, founder of the first troupe of the blackface minstrel tradition. Of Irish ancestry, born at Mount Vernon, Ohio, then a frontier region. Formed the Virginia Minstrels and turned the black-face minstrel into a million- dollar-business. By conviction an abolitionist, Emmett is commonly credited with having authored “Dixie."
  • Scott Joplin - Most reowned of ragtime composers

    Scott Joplin - Most reowned of ragtime composers
    Born in Texarkana, Texas, in 1868, Joplin composed about 30 rags before his death in 1917, the year of the first jazz recording. Ragtime dominated the music of the first fifteen years of the century. *Rag/Ragtime - was syncopation, a new rhythm that dominated popular music at the turn of the century
  • Scott Joplin

    Scott Joplin
    In 1893, the unknown Scott Joplin heard great musicians at the Chicago World’s Fair and so was inspired to write ragtime. Minstrels, wearing a uniform shade of black face regardless of natural skin color, also performed. Joplin would compose an oeuvre of rags comparable in range to the preludes of Chopin.
    For 70 years, Joplin’s best-known work was “Maple Leaf Rag”—until the movie The Sting (1973) showcased his lesser known rag “The Entertainer,” making the piece even more popular.
  • First Jazz Recording

    First Jazz Recording
    The first jazz recording was released in 1917, by which time rags were no longer known as “rags,” but as “novelty piano.”
  • Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels

    Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels
    Jazz traveled east in 1917 when Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, concerned with sailors who loitered too long in New Orleans, ordered that the city’s Storyville red light district be closed down. Hundreds of musicians were soon out of a job, and they had to travel to find work.
  • Invention of the microphone

    Invention of the microphone
    In 1924, the course of jazz was changed forever with the invention of the microphone, an innovation which allowed not only the use of quieter instruments like the guitar and string bass, but brought smaller-voiced singers like Bing Crosby, Mel Torme, and Frank Sinatra into the limelight.
  • Boogie Woogie

    Boogie Woogie
    A solo piano music, boogie-woogie long predates the first popular recording of it in 1929. ** Boogie is a heavy-handed but highly rhythmic style. In a sense, it is the blues with a repeated figure in the left hand; whether it is eight notes to the bar, or five or seven, the bass stays regular. The word boogie-woogie may ultimately derive from a Bantu phrase, buki-mavuki, or “I take off in flight.”
  • Period: to

    The Swing Era

    Swing emerged in the Depression as a soporific, healing genre of popular music. The swing era lasted from about 1935 to 1950. In 1932, the hit parade had a number of big band groups; by 1950, their absence from the charts was notable.
  • Boogie-woogie - Rock and roll

    Boogie-woogie - Rock and roll
    In 1942, you couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing boogie-woogie. Like ragtime, boogie-woogie didn’t really die so much as it evolved into another form—in this case, rock and roll.