The Birth of Jazz Music: A Fusion of Cultures

Jazz music is a unique genre that has its roots in African American musical traditions, ragtime, marches, blues and other types of music. It was born out of a mix of cultures and emotions, and it has bequeathed a musical gift that has enriched cultures around the world. In the beginning, jazz was mostly for dancing. Later on, people would sit and listen to it.

New Orleans, a port city, had people from all over the world who socialized and shared their music. You could hear music from all over the world on the streets of New Orleans. It was also one of the only places in the United States that allowed slaves to own drums. Jazz is a musical form, often improvisation, developed by African Americans and influenced both by the European harmonic structure and by African rhythms.

It is characterized by syncopated rhythms, polyphonic ensembles, varying degrees of improvisation, often deliberate deviations in tone, and the use of original timbres. In 1917, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded the first commercial jazz recording while playing in New York City, where they were enthusiastically received. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called smooth jazz succeeded, garnering significant radio coverage. In the 1980s, many talented jazz musicians emerged such as Wynton and Branford Marsalis, pianists Donald Brown, Mulgrew Miller and Benny Green, bassists Charles Fambrough, Lonnie Plaxico (and later Peter Washington and Essiet Essiet), trumpeters Bill Pierce, Donald Harrison and later Javon Jackson and Terence Blanchard.

The interpretation of classical music is evaluated more by its fidelity to the score, with less attention paid to interpretation, ornamentation and accompaniment. The relaxed Cool jazz of Birth of the Cool by Miles Davis, The Modern Jazz Quartet and the Lennie Tristano school was marketed as a softer alternative to the more fiery sounds of bebop. Jazz was the popular music of the United States during this period, and leaders of bands such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw became big stars. A more precise term could be Afro-Latin jazz since it usually employs rhythms that have a direct analogue in Africa or exhibit an African rhythmic influence beyond what is normally heard in other types of jazz. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s using mode or musical scale as the basis of musical structure and improvisation as did free jazz which explored playing without regular metrics rhythm and formal structures. Weather Report's self-titled debut album electronic and psychedelic caused a sensation in the jazz world upon its arrival in 1971 thanks to the pedigree of the group's members (including percussionist Airto Moreira) and their unorthodox approach to music. Handy's musical career began in the pre-jazz era and contributed to the codification of jazz through the publication of some of the first jazz scores. Jazz is a musical genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with its roots in blues and ragtime. Scholars and artists don't seem to argue about what exactly constitutes classical music or rock but it is a debate that often appears in the world of jazz.