WHAT IS JAZZ?
Jazz is a uniquely American music that is deeply rooted in the southern part of the United States, specifically, New Orleans. The unique blend of people and cultures (each bringing their own music and traditions) along with the social climate of the day made the advent of jazz possible there, as opposed to elsewhere in the world.
Spanish, French, Caribbean, freed slaves and Creole were among the different people that lived together in New Orleans. And although they didn’t always like each other, jazz music gave them a reason to come together. West African rhythms and dance, blues harmony and vocal inflections, call and response from the many local churches and traditional brass band instrumentation are just a few of the many components that went into making jazz. Buddy Bolden, one of the first great jazz musicians was known for his ability to take all of these influences and translate them into the language of music.
Other influential New Orleans jazz musicians include Jelly Roll Morton, Joe “King” Oliver and Louis Armstrong.