Jazz is a category of music that was derived from the African-American race, believed to have dated back to the 19th century in New Orleans, a Louisiana city located on the Mississippi River. Jazz music can be performed on any instrument, including singing, but the most familiar instruments are the guitar, trumpet, bass, drums, piano, saxophone and the trombone. Jazz came into existence following the outburst of the Civil war that brought with it suffering and numerous life losses. The conditions that the African-Americans faced made this category of music to develop attributes of confidence and dare.
Jazz came to existence as an outcome of the epiphany that because of music, a person’s free will and liberty were possible. The subjection of African-Americans to slavery, straining labor and racism could only allow their expressions through songs and chants. This made their output and general day move faster. As a result of the various melodies of the songs they sang, over the years the various categories like folk, blues, classics and religious songs have evolved and merged, giving birth to jazz.
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Over the years, different historians that have covered the history of jazz claim that the purest structure of jazz is the collaboration of the west world’s harmonies and the African flow (Farley, 2011). This is false because the instruments used by the Africans, including the drum and chimes, were tuned to bring forth harmony, thus proving it in addition to structure that has always been manifested in African music. New Orleans, Louisiana can be suggested as the mother place of the purest form of jazz. It is a location that embraces both the African and European culture, politics, religion and even music. The first legend of jazz, perhaps the best trumpet player and the patriarch of jazz was Mr. Charles “Buddy” Bolden. He was the first instrumentalist to have the ability to blend his music to contain melodies from his church, blues, marches from the parade, labor chants, funeral songs and ragtime. Before Bolden was in the jazz industry, no musician would think of fusing church music with secular music, but the daring of Bolden in doing so brought what is identified today as jazz, setting it apart from other strands of music.
Jazz music and its arts have been accepted over the years seeing its popularity grow among different people, especially after the passing of the ‘Jazz Preservation Act (JPA)’ in 1987. The decision passed interpreted jazz as a form of black American art which activists, publications, teachers and record companies are assisting in taking care of the history and music (Gioia, 2011). The performances from Louis Armstrong and Morton, who is described as ‘the first great composer of jazz’ have seen the spread of jazz music globally. The growth of bands also enhanced the growth of the jazz era. ‘Quintette du Hot Club de France’ was the first band in Europe to perform a jazz sound, which showed that a person does not have to come from America to have effect on the genre. Increased advances in the communication sector like radio and creation of motion pictures saw to the growth of the musical era of jazz. Jazz had proven difficult to curb its spread and has since been celebrated all around the world.