History of Jazz

Timeline created by ly123
In Music
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    Ragtime: Beginning of Jazz

    Ragtime music is considered as the roots of and starting point of jazz. Ragtime is based on swing and syncopated rhythms. Some of the most popular pieces include "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin, who is named the "King of Ragtime." Note: For each of these time spans, the dated period is the most popular time of that genre, as all of these genres are still played until today.
  • Most Famous Ragtime Piece

    Most Famous Ragtime Piece
    Scott Joplin released his song "Maple Leaf Rag" in 1899, and it became one of the most well-known ragtime songs. This piece helped ragtime music grow more popular and is one of the founding pieces of early jazz, as ragtime is known as the earliest origins of jazz. Image URL: https://americansongwriter.com/legends-of-songwriting-scott-joplin-the-king-of-ragtime/
  • First Jazz Musician

    First Jazz Musician
    Buddy Bolden, who played the cornet which is similar to the trumpet, is arguably the first jazz musician. Born and raised in New Orleans, Bolden combined the styles of New Orleans music with blues and gospel, often improvising and playing more freely. Image URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_Bolden
  • First Jazz Soloist

    First Jazz Soloist
    Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901 and is considered as the first great jazz player to do solo improvisations. Before Louis Armstrong proposed the idea of solo improvisation, bands performed collective improvisations, where all the band players would solo together. Image URL: https://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/louis-armstrong-jazz-legend-dies-1971-article-1.2268366
  • "Jass" Becomes "Jazz"

    "Jass" Becomes "Jazz"
    The word "jass" was respelled to "jazz" in late 1917, and the Original Dixieland Jass Band changed their name to Original Dixieland Jazz Band. Image URL: https://www.discogs.com/Original-Dixieland-Jazz-Band-The-Original-Dixieland-Jass-Band/release/5717345
  • First Jazz Recording

    First Jazz Recording
    The Original Dixieland Jass Band released the first ever jazz recording with their song "Livery Stable Blues" on March 7, 1917. Image URL: https://riverwalkjazz.stanford.edu/program/tribute-original-dixieland-jazz-band-live-stanford-jazz-workshop
  • Most Famous Female Jazz Musician

    Most Famous Female Jazz Musician
    Ella Fitzgerald, named as the "First Lady of Song" or "Queen of Jazz," was born on April 25, 1917, and went on to become arguably the best female jazz singer. She was known for her range, accuracy, and scats, and has won 14 Grammys and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her most popular songs and covers include "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" in 1938 and "Summertime" by George Gershwin. Image URL: https://www.biography.com/musician/ella-fitzgerald
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    The Jazz Age

    The Jazz Age was a period of time during the Roaring 20s when jazz became more popular and well-known in the United States. During this prosperous time, more people were able to listen to jazz, especially with the introduction of radios.
  • First Piece with Scat Singing

    First Piece with Scat Singing
    Jazz legend Louis Armstrong and his band the Hot Five released "Heebie Jeebies" in 1926, and it is considered as the first song to have scat singing. Scat singing is when the singer doesn't sing actual words but with random syllables and improvise the melody. Image URL: https://www.eclassical.com/labels/naxos/armstrong-louis-heebie-jeebies-1925-1930.html
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    Swing music began during the 1930s and usually had rhythms emphasizing on the off beat, making it more suitable for dancing. Some famous swing artists include Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.
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    Bebop music started around the 1940s and involved more complex harmonies and rhythms, making it harder to dance to and less popular than swing. Despite it not being as popular as swing, many bebop artists are famous, influential artists, such as Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald.
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    Latin Jazz

    During the 1940s, another genre called Latin jazz, or Afro-Cuban jazz, emerged along with Bebop. Latin jazz is known for its different Latin rhythms and percussion. Some of the most famous artists include Tito Puente and Dizzy Gillepsie.
  • Most Famous Male Jazz Musician

    Most Famous Male Jazz Musician
    Born on May 13, 1950, Stevie Wonder is one of the most famous musicians of all time. He is known for passionate singing and groovy songs, and has sold over 100 million records and won 25 Grammys. Image URL: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Stevie-Wonder
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    Free Jazz

    Free jazz, as the name implies, is a genre where players play freely and improvise that developed during the late 1950s. Players don't have to stick to a certain key, rhythm, or tempo, and explore new ideas as they go.
  • First Jazz Grammy Awards

    First Jazz Grammy Awards
    In 1959, the first jazz-related Grammys were awarded to Court Basie for Best Jazz Performance, Group, and to Ella Fitzgerald for Best Jazz Performance, Individual. Image URL: https://tucson.com/news/blogs/morgue-tales/happy-birthday-ella-fitzgerald/image_2710c69a-ade9-11e2-b23b-0019bb2963f4.html
  • Release of Best-selling Jazz Album

    Release of Best-selling Jazz Album
    Miles Davis, one of the most legendary jazz musicians, released his album Kind of Blue on August 17, 1959, and it went on to become the best-selling jazz album. The modal jazz (songs are based on modulations rather than one key) album reached over five million copies sold in 2019, and was a revolutionary album that helped influenced the styles of jazz. Image URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kind_of_Blue
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    Jazz Funk

    During the 1970s and 1980s, jazz funk was created. Jazz funk is known for its use of electric instruments and synthesizers with a strong beat/groove, and some popular artists include Herbie Hancock, George Duke, and once again Miles Davis.
  • Most Famous Free Jazz Album

    Most Famous Free Jazz Album
    John Coltrane was one of the pioneers of free jazz and released a 40 minute long album called "Ascension" in February 1966, which became one of the most famous free jazz albums. Throughout the whole album, Coltrane and other musicians take turns soloing and improvising. "Ascension," along with other free jazz albums, helped shape the art of improvising. Image URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascension_(John_Coltrane_album)
  • Release of First Platinum Jazz Album

    Release of First Platinum Jazz Album
    Head Hunters by Herbie Hancock is the first jazz album to go platinum, selling more than a million copies. Hancock released the jazz-funk album on October 26, 1973, but it didn't go platinum until December 21, 1986. Image URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_Hunters
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    Smooth Jazz

    Smooth jazz is one of the later jazz genres that started around the 1970s. Compared to the "randomness" of improvisation in previous genres, smooth jazz focuses on a stabler, more melodic improvisation and has some R&B feels to it. Some famous artists are Kenny G and Grover Washington Jr., both who used the saxophone to sing the melody.
  • The Future of Jazz?

    The Future of Jazz?
    Jacob Collier is a 25 year old English musician who is considered a genius by many. Collier combines jazz with other genres and is especially known for his reharmonization, which helped him win 4 Grammys. He began uploading acapella covers on YouTube, which have captured the attention of greats like Quincy Jones, and is considered as one of the greatest musicians of our time. Image URL: https://mta.mit.edu/events/jacob-collier-imagination-charts
  • First Jazz Pulitzer Prize Winner

    First Jazz Pulitzer Prize Winner
    Wynton Marsalis is the first jazz artist to win a Pulitzer Prize for Music with his album "Blood on the Fields." He won the prize on January 28, 1997, and is also the only musician to win a Grammy in the jazz and classical categories in the same year. Image URL: https://www.pulitzer.org/winners/wynton-marsalis
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    Today, there is no one specific genre that dominates jazz as all genres are played. Many musicians are also exploring more about the idea of reharmonization, which is when you change the chords, harmony, and/or other aspects of a song. Some of the most famous jazz musicians as of now are the band Snarky Puppy, Jacob Collier, and Kamasi Washington.