As you all know, Jazz is a music style that managed to influence the music of the world. Many scholars cite that early Jazz influences originated from the post Civil War and Emancipation era. This is when former slaves were free to travel and spread their African heritage and musical sensibilities. They were able to make money by being entertainers in restaurants, clubs, brothels and dance halls. Instruments that were used by bands during the Civil War were also made available to the African Americans.

Jazz is believed to have been developed from:

• Ragtime syncopation beats
• Driving marches and sounds of brass bands
• Deep down growl of the blues
• Field hollers of the plantation slave workers

New Orleans via Africa & Europe

The birthplace of Jazz is in New Orleans around 1895. However, its roots can be traced back to the musical traditions of both Africa and Europe.

From African culture, jazz got its:

a. Blues quality
b. Rhythm and overall feel
c. Playing the instrument in your own expressive way

From European culture, jazz got its:

a. Harmony – there are similarities between jazz and classical harmonies.
b. Instruments – the majority of instruments used in jazz music originated from Europe.

Why New Orleans?

New Orleans was an ideal city for all of these factors to come together, because it was a port city (with folks showing up from all parts of the globe), a gathering spot for folks of various ethnic groupings, along with a city with a nightlife where artists had the means to relax and play together, learn from one another, and combine all these elements.

The Maturation of Jazz

The time from 1917 to early 1930s saw the maturation of jazz as a music style. In 1917, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded the very first commercial jazz recording. However, the most significant contributor to the jazz scene is definitely Louis Armstrong – the first truly great jazz soloist and a virtuoso in playing the trumpet. Eventually the New Orleans jazz style fell out of fashion. However, there are still many artists that continue to play traditional jazz even up to this day.

Jazz is the Music of the World

An Outstanding Jazz Performance shared by Mike Asimos from Mike Asimos on Vimeo.


These days, jazz is performed and heard by men and women of all ethnicities and ethnicities and incorporates musical components and styles throughout the whole world; jazz went from being the music of America to being the music of the world.