Jazz started over a hundred years ago and began as Ragtime. It originated in the African American communities in the southern United States. It began as a mixture of African and European music. Each culture has added to the genre of Jazz. There is no set definition of what Jazz means, but instead it is influenced by each culture that has touched it. It is a voice that resonates through time and causes its listeners to stop and feel the music. Jazz has many different styles and various forms. It has strong rhythmic structure that has lead to many other musical genres. It is an art form that can be molded into many different sounds. Artists use Jazz to form unique and exciting expressions that tell a story all of its own. Improvisation is almost mandatory with the form of Jazz. It is a creative force that catches the listener and then tells its secrets. Jazz is very much an expression of personal creativity for the musician and true beauty for the listener.
Louis Armstrong said,”…that Jazz is music that is never played the same way once.” Jazz is both new and old and the listener never gets bored. Louis Armstrong helped to build a jazz legacy with the Blues, Brass sounds and Ragtime. He is known as the father of Jazz. In the early 1900′s, New Orleans bands played Jazz, and the groups usually consisted of a clarinet, trombone, trumpet, tuba, banjo and the drums. This was popular music because of its upbeat rhythm and its fast and spirited nature. Louis Armstrong was one of the first musicians responsible for spreading the joy of Jazz to people all over America. He influenced many of the men to give Jazz all they had to offer. Men such as Bix Beiderbecke were responsible for helping to create the Swing Era.
One of the things that makes Jazz so unique is that it is a melting pot of the performers’ cultural backgrounds. There are no limits or walls that restrict the Jazz musician when he/she is composing their music. Many clubs offer Jazz musicians the opportunity to play their own interpretations of Jazz music. It is an opportunity for the musician to create truly unique and moving music. This is a highly unique art form still today. Many musicians started playing their music in Jazz clubs. Jazz continues to evolve and soothe its listeners even in today’s music world. Jazz and Blues festivals are found all over the world today. The wide base for Jazz music allows many interpretations that provide some exquisite music today.