No one will debate the fact that jazz music is an incredibly important portion of American culture. In fact, jazz music is considered one of the all-time greatest contributions of American culture to the world. It actually captures a wide variety of emotions and is perfectly blended with various African and European influences to create a special form of music. This type of music can be presented in a true art form and reflects the expressions of the soul.
However, this American-born music genre has completely changed the world of music in terms of the way we listen, dance to, and appreciate music. And for this, all contributions go to the artists such as bebop drummers Max Roach and Art Blakey, “King of Swing” Benny Goodman, singers like Louis Armstrong, one of the creators of modern Jazz, and many others.
Origin of Jazz Music
You will be surprised to know that jazz music was developed in the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the early twentieth century. The key element of this type of music is improvisation. So, it provides a significant amount of creativity and expression for the musicians. Probably this is the main reason behind its popularity.
Initially, it was greatly influenced by contemporary blues music. Field workers in the South usually loved to sing hymns and holler music. This resulted in the influence on the origin of not only Jazz music but also country music and even rock and roll. So as a melting pot of cultures, there is no secret America became the birthplace of Jazz music.
Cultural Importance of Jazz Music
No doubt, jazz was widespread in almost every aspect of American culture throughout the 1920s. This included everything: from poetry and fashion to the civil rights movement. Jazz music was truly an indispensable part of everything. Besides that, it greatly contributed to the women’s liberation movement. Since the popularity of jazz music started to increase, a growing number of women from different cultures found a place to act as an outlet for their rebellions against traditional gender discrimination. Besides, this provided them the opportunity to meet other like-minded women, perhaps for the first time.
The Influence of Jazz Music on Other Artists and Music
Everyone from the Pink Floyd to the Beatles had been influenced by Jazz music significantly. In fact, this music genre has truly permeated the music culture so much that it is hard to find an individual who was not influenced by jazz music.
Trombonist J.J. Johnson once truly said, “Jazz is restless. It won’t stay put, and it never will.”
So you can never predict how much jazz music is inspired by the various cultures of our world. However, different styles of jazz music emerged from one another and created another form of jazz music. For example, Kansas City jazz, Gypsy jazz, and bebop emerged by the 1940s. This actually shifted jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging “musician’s music.”
So, beyond the orb of music, jazz has further become an indispensable part of major cities like New York or Paris because of its backing track to their rich music history along with a major tourist attraction. We hope now you have a complete understanding of why jazz music is so much important to American culture.