Jazz Music : The Jazz Age

1985 WordsApr 11, 20168 Pages
In the 1920s, jazz music started to gain popularity in America. Taking place during the Harlem Renaissance, jazz music helped define this time and the 1920s as the “jazz age”. The new upbeat and exuberant style of music attracted many young people looking for change. Jazz broke the customary rules of classical music and allowed musicians to improvise. Famous artists like Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Louis Armstrong took the country by storm with their talent. Soon speakeasies around cities began hosting jazz artists and everyone flocked to these venues for a night of entertainment (Luca). Americans in nearly every part of the country could listen to jazz either on the radio or at clubs (O’Neal). Jazz music developed into an enjoyable and trendy art form. Even though jazz was well liked, some people in America did not care for it. Racism influenced people to disapprove of jazz because of the “new” distasteful sound it produced, the dangerous life style associated with it, and the African ancestries in which it originated. From the beginning, jazz developed as a musical rebellion against the control of the white man. Civil rights activist, Nat Hentoff believed jazz “spoke against racism and anti-Semitism and assembled a history of free speech in America for young listeners” (Nat(han) (Irving) Hentoff). As jazz music developed and progressed as a new art form it began to expand, starting northwards toward Chicago and New York. The continuously changing musical style

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