Believed to have originated from New Orleans in the early 20th century, jazz is a distinctive musical form derived from African and European traditions. Some of its characteristics include polyrhythms, blues notes, syncopation, swing, and most importantly, improvisation. The element of improvisation allows jazz artists to interpret a piece of music in their own unique way, making it a truly existentialist art form. In essence, a jazz artist doesn’t play or sing the same piece of music twice. While the earliest jazz artists made their rounds in the red-light district known as “Storyville,” jazz pioneers such as Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong help to popularize the genre in the 1920s to 1930s, paving the way for icons like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk. Later, jazz expanded into many different sub-genres and fusion genres, spawning Latin jazz, Gypsy jazz, Continental jazz, Bossa Nova, Ska jazz, Acid jazz, and many others. Here’s more information on jazz.
History/Beginning of Jazz
Famous Jazz Artists/Biographies
Music Clips/Free Online Jazz Music