17 Fun And Interesting Facts About Jazz Music: You Should Know! | Kidadl


17 Fun And Interesting Facts About Jazz Music: You Should Know!

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Do you know even if the birthplace of jazz was New Orleans, America, and that it was the African population there back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who came up with this genre?

Jazz is a music genre that was partly inspired by blues and partly by ragtime. Over the years people improvised and polished it into a very different genre.

Ever heard 'Venus de Milo'? This song gave the very famous American trumpeter Miles Davis' career a kick start. Today, the world knows him as the greatest jazz artist of all time! The word 'jazz' isn’t limited to some vocabulary; this genre of music is much more than that. There are many more interesting facts about jazz music. Read on to learn more about free jazz and Latin Jazz and afterward, also check Mexican music facts and metal music facts.

Who invented jazz music?

The blues genre of music was prevailing in Louisiana and it used the sound of trumpets. This was during and after the American Civil War.

It was in the 1890s when blues tunes mixed up with the upbeat dance tunes of the black population and with the use of brass instruments, jazz took over America. Charles 'Buddy' Bolden was a band-leader of African-American origin. He was called the 'First Man of Jazz' by a historian named Donald Marquis.

It is said that no recordings of Buddy Bolden are in existence today as his career ended in 1907 when he was admitted to the Louisiana State Insane Asylum. Bolden was only 30 and it was revealed that he was a drinker and had mental health issues. By 1920, he was no longer in the state to recognize his family and in November 1931, he died of cerebral arteriosclerosis.

What is so unique about jazz music?

What makes jazz so unique is that it is purely made in America. This genre was born in America but was made by the African Americans, who used music to express their struggles as Africans, as slaves, and how they struggled to gain social status.

This music expressed their culture, not only by way of words but by way of tunes too. Now jazz has become so widely famous that it is taught in various schools and institutions like Berklee and the New York Jazz Workshop. Jazz, being an old music form, is still a widely heard genre along with EDM, pop, hip-hop, indie, and rock.

Even though the roots of jazz have contributions of Caribbean music, it wasn’t that famous in South American countries. This was because, in countries like Brazil, African slaves were residing in their own establishment, away from the white society. Thus, the black population managed to retain their culture and music.

It did not mix with the people of Brazil but it wasn’t the same in America. Black people lived in the same society despite being subjected to racism and other forms of discrimination every day. In other words, if there was no slave trade, there would have been no jazz today.

What inspired jazz music?

Caribbean music syncopated with African beats became popular. The ones who came up with this music weren't allowed anywhere.

So, racist white people took to the stage in New Orleans, painted their faces black, and sang and danced to this music. Soon, this music gave its flavor to classical music and the folk songs of the slaves’ African culture.

Today, this music form has grown to adapt with other prevailing genres like pop, rock, and funk. It is said that initial jazz wasn’t written but was passed onto generations of people who enjoyed music and used it for recreation.

Where is jazz music most popular?

Starting from the birthplace of Jazz, the United States of America is the country with the maximum number of jazz listeners. There are clubs like the Spotted Cat or the Blue Nile, where one can find the greatest number of jazz fans.

When we listen to jazz, we might think of France. French people have always been massively influenced by jazz. In the early 20th century, France witnessed the Jazz Age and it still shows now. It is said that the best jazz clubs in Europe are found in France.

South Africa isn't on par with France or America in terms of jazz history but the capital of Cape Town is famous for hosting one of the world's famous jazz festivals, called the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. This is one of the best places to have a memorable jazz experience.

According to myTuner Radio, after the US and France, countries like Korea, Japan, and Taiwan have a major share of the world's jazz listeners.

Jazz, music genre inspired by blues & ragtime

The Five Main Elements Of Jazz Music

Those who are learning or are interested in jazz music will tell you that the syncopation, swing, bent notes, distinctive voices, and improvisation make up the important aspects of jazz music. Agreed, improvisation is required in every genre of music, but at the same time, it is different for every art form.

Syncopation is adding surprising elements in a song and at unexpected places. Jazz performers perform like they’re playing with the beats and it’s a fun scene to watch. Swing is the energy that flows and makes you move your feet and snap your fingers to the tune of jazz. There are 12 notes used in jazz and the bent notes are the provider of passion and vitality in jazz. Voices are unique to every artist and every jazz performer has their way with the melodies and syncopation which results in amazing performances. These fundamentals are what attract listeners and turn them into loyal fans of jazz.

We all know about the first man of jazz, Buddy Bolden, but after him, how many other musicians gained worldwide recognition as jazz artists? Ella Fitzgerald began her career in a band in the 30s and by the 50s she was flying solo. Her song 'Mack the Knife' is considered to be the best piece in her career.

Frank Sinatra started singing in the 40s but became quite popular after he signed with Capitol Records in 1953. He literally 'got the world on a string'.

Billie Holiday had a rough childhood and suffered quite a lot but she was an era on her own. On her way to stardom, she kept on motivating other ladies and now she's one of the best jazz singers of all time.

Louie Armstrong is the voice behind the biggest hit 'What a wonderful world'. The song scored him so much fame and recognition. He was from New Orleans. It was obvious where he got his jazzy flair from.

Nina Simone originally wanted to become a pianist but later, she changed her path and became a nightclub singer. Her versatile voice made her a sensation in the world of jazz.

Miles Davis, Peggy Lee, Jimmy Scott, and so many more artists are so well known and people still listen to the legacy they left for the world.

There have been numerous jazz musicians in this genre of music. To name just some jazz musicians, there are the original melody American music jazz musicians like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Lindy Hop, Jelly Roll Morton, Charlie Parker, Clarence Williams, and numerous more.

Clarence Williams was an American jazz pianist. Jazz musician John Coltrane was an American jazz saxophonist. Jazz musician Louis Armstrong was an American trumpeter. Louis Armstrong liked to use the double bass to display his skills with his musical instrument. These were some of the most common jazz instruments. Duke Ellington was an American composer. Duke Ellington loved to work with jazz instruments. International Jazz Day meant a lot for these people. International Jazz Day is on 30 April. The jazz piano trio is usually said to be three jazz musicians. The jazz piano trio consists of a pianist, a double bass player, and a drummer. A jazz band can vary in the number of musicians and the instruments used.

There are many jazz performance types like bossa nova jazz, gypsy jazz, acid jazz, and more. There are various types of jazz including cool jazz, world jazz, soul jazz, and other types of jazz performances. Jazz band music was very new but very welcomed. It eventually turned into marching band music.

It is obvious that jazz cannot be defined by a few words. There is always room for something new in this genre and musicians all have their own distinct style. If you follow the feel and walk along with the elements, you might end up as a jazz performer too. Who knows, you might even come up with your own song too. This distinctive form of music has been winning hearts since the 19th century.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 17 Fun and interesting facts about jazz music: You should know! then why not take a look at house music facts, or film music facts?

Kidadl Team
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