“The Magnificence of Jazz”
Monica Nathalia Suarez Monroy
THE MAGNIFICENCE OF JAZZ
This essay aims to submerge people in the astounding world of Jazz, a world full of marvelous creations that overflow of inspiration, by doing a short description of how jazz was born and how it evolved until it became what it was, is and will be. All this is done for introducing aspecial character the essay emphasizes on, “the genius”, “the father of soul” Ray Charles Robinson; describing his childhood, his personal life, and how he became what he was.
Origins of Jazz
It was April 12th 1861; many changes were happening in America, it was the civil war. The civil war had to do with political and armed conflicts that lasted around 4 years. On June 23th 1865 the war togetherwith slavery finished and many African Americans went to the big cities for starting a new lifestyle. Multiculturalism was new between Americans and the cities were just trying to adapt themselves to these changes.
During the civil war period a new music style was invented, the Blues. It was created by African American people who were slaves and who had had very difficult moments in their lives,so they expressed these feelings in their music and occasionally the word “blues” meant “sad” in some of their songs. Nowadays this music style is considered one of the most important contributions African American people has led in American culture.
After all these events of the civil war and the birth of a multicultural nation, Jazz appeared in 1880. It was born from Blues style and it wasmainly interpreted by African American people. It was born in New Orleans, one of the richest cities in different cultures from the entire world. However blues was not the only base for the creation of Jazz, there was also another important music style known as “ragtime”. This music style was very popular in New Orleans by 1880 – 1890. The first Jazz musicians created their music together with avariety of unexpected rhythms known as “syncopated” and some other catchy pieces of music taken from ragtime; in fact, the first jazz musicians thought of jazz as a variation of ragtime style. Something important to highlight here is that “improvisation - the spontaneous invention of rhythms and melodies that is part of authentic African music - was a vital element in jazz from the beginning” asmentioned by Sutron (2006).
The author mentions that it would be impossible to talk about jazz without mentioning the first jazz musician called Buddy Bolden. He was born a decade after the civil war, and he began to play his “powerful” cornet when he was 17, he was very well known; sadly the opportunity of becoming a well known star all over the world never came truth, as he finished in a mentalinstitution, because of mental issues.
After Buddy Bolden many other artist like Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, etc. were born in jazz world, they created the first jazz; however the first jazz record was made by a band called “The Original Dixieland Jazz Band”, the recordings were made in New York in 1917.
In the course of the 1920s, many jazz bands came to existence and New York City became theindustrial center of this musical genre, “more than any time on history, Jazz was a central part of mainstream American entertainment”.
An important factor to consider is that in the same way people and their thoughts and beliefs evolve, Jazz does. This is due to the fact that the world is constantly changing and many things come with the evolution. Each generation has its own styles and they showthem through every single thing, so it is also shown through jazz. That is the reason why it is impossible to talk about jazz having just certain kind of instruments, rhythms, etc. because it has been modified a lot from its original style during the decades.
As mentioned by Lopes (2002), Jazz was considered part of the social history of authentic American music. By the 1940s, the jazz style...