Jazz in the 1920's

Jazz in the 1920's was an edgy new music genre that was started by the African American community and became popular among African Americans, youths, and speakeasy-goers. Fast pacing, improvisation, and over all played-back vibe are where the appeal in this music genre comes from. There are more forms of jazz such as the blues, characterized as jazz music centered on a soloist singer or guitarist, and jazz poetry, which is normally used to bring attention to social issues such as racism. Many musicians who play Jazz had rough lives due to racism, low-incomes, family disasters or all of the above. Remarkably, jazz became an art form that white people and African Americans can enjoy, regardless of the skin color of the musician.

Benny Goodman, aka the King of Swing, was a composer, Jazz clarinetist, and leader of a very popular and first racially integrated band group from the late 1920's to the mid 1930's. He was the son of a Jewish immigrant from the Russian Empire and he was raised in Chicago with little money but a lot of passion for music.
Louis Armstrong was a composer, Jazz trumpeter, singer, and actor who played in the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, and 60's. He is considered one of the most influential figures in Jazz as he made the shift from group improvisation to solo improvisation and he also popularized scat. He was one of the first musicians to be seen as a talented musician before an African American.
Glenn Miller was a big band arranger, composer, leader and musician from Iowa who started his Jazz career in 1926. He was a best-selling recording artist 1939 to 1943 and his songs are still appreciated today.
Bessie Smith, the Empress of the Blues, was the most popular female blues singer in the 1920's and 1930's and was considered the greatest singer of her era. She grew up in Tennessee and faced the deaths of her parents and brother at different times in her youth and took up singing to support her struggling household.
Josephine Baker was a French entertainer who sang, danced, and acted. She was the first person of African decent to become a world-famous entertainer and to star in a major motion picture (the film Zou-Zou). She was born in America but latter moved to France and became a citizen there.
Langston Hughes was a Jazz Poet from Missouri and was popular in the age when "Harlem was in vogue" (1927-1964) in his words. He was know for his poems about the struggles of being an African American and writing for the Nation Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Handy's Band Tuesday Night Famous Musicians Appear at Auditorium

Jazz was a factor for change and for regression. Jazz was the first music genre to be a form of self-expression. In this way, Jazz paved the way for more creativity as music can be based on the performer's emotion instead of something pre-determined by the composer. Simultaneously, this caused anger among old-fashioned people wanted to stop this new music genre completely due to it's association with speakeasies and the perceived notion that it encouraged rape. Jazz became a "cause" of sin and prevented the majority of Americans from wanting to do with anything similar to it, reducing musical creativity. Jazz music became a way to untie Caucasian Americans and African Americans as integrated and African American jazz groups gained popularity among both races. Although most Americans had negative feelings towards jazz in the 1920's, jazz in this era was a seed for growth in music and racial matters.

Jazz was a way for performers to express their emotions and for listeners of jazz to relax and enjoy themselves. In this art form, race became negligible due to the fact that some of the best musicians were African American. Even though jazz wasn't commonly accepted, African Americans and speakeasy-goers of all races were able to enjoy this music and allowed jazz to resurface in the near future (40's-60's). Overtime, jazz this became a factor in African American acceptance as well as a new music genre. Jazz music impacted musical creativity and became a bridge between African Americans and Caucasians.

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