Researchers and historians are still learning about jazz history; there are many and various opinions about what is important in the history of jazz. What follows is an overview of jazz history that provides a foundation for this study. A review of New Orleans' unique history and culture, with its distinctive character rooted in the colonial period, is helpful in understanding the complex circumstances that led to the development of New Orleans jazz. The city was founded in as part of the French Louisiana colony. The Louisiana territories were ceded to Spain in but were returned to France in
When did jazz originate?
From the French Opera House to Congo Square
The music of New Orleans assumes various styles of music which have often borrowed from earlier traditions. New Orleans , Louisiana , is especially known for its strong association with jazz music , universally considered to be the birthplace of the genre. The earliest form was dixieland , which has sometimes been called traditional jazz , 'New Orleans', and 'New Orleans jazz'.
New Orleans Not Your Typical American City
Subscribe today to support our mission and contributors. Most people think of New Orleans jazz as a single original jazz idiom, or musical style, when in fact it retains distinctive stylistic features tied to festival traditions within a discrete, regional culture. Even today, the musical practices rooted in neighborhood and family affiliations often influence musical styles and trends among traditional and modern jazz musicians more than national market trends. Charles Theater in , where he alternated with French and Italian opera. Over the course of the nineteenth century in New Orleans, the diversity arising from French , Spanish , and African cultures in the colonial period grew to include European, Caribbean, Latin American, and Asian immigrants, presenting local musicians with a vast array of raw materials from which to draw in making music. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, styles of dance underwent a dramatic shift away from polite, measured, and hierarchical nineteenth-century fare i.
How New Orleans became the breeding ground for a uniquely American art form. Those are just a few of the living legends who keep jazz going strong in the place it all began, New Orleans, Louisiana. Today, brass bands still invigorate the streets during Mardi Gras, French Quarter jazz clubs deliver the best in live improvisation on any given night, and the Jazz and Heritage Festival brings together the past, present and future of American jazz every spring, proving year after year that New Orleans is still the jazz mecca of the world. According to the Ken Burns documentary Jazz , they would sing, play music and dance, swaying back and forth to the songs of their home countries. Meanwhile, in New Orleans theatres, the stages were overtaken by racist minstrel shows, in which white performers sang and danced in blackface to upbeat tunes. And all the while, the sound of the brass marching band provided a soundtrack to the ongoing American Civil War. When the war ended in , all of these musical styles blended to form a new genre called ragtime, which syncopated the rhythms of previous genres and made songs that everyone wanted to dance to. Blues musicians used the trumpets and trombones left over from wartime music to mimic the sound of their voices, literally singing out their pain through their instruments. It made the blues even more mournful, even more poignant and even more cathartic for anyone listening. When ragtime and the blues came together, it created a completely novel style of music — a truly American art form.