New Orleans Jazz Style

1563 Words7 Pages
The term "jazz" (early on often spelled "jass") did not become popular until the mid and late 1910s, when New Orleans musicians first rose to prominence in other parts of the USA and the New Orleans style needed a new name to differentiate it from the nationally popular ragtime. Before then, the New Orleans style was frequently simply called "ragtime" (Sidney Bechet continued to call his music "ragtime" throughout his life), along with such local terms as "hot music" and "ratty music". The local New Orleans dance music style was already distinctive in the 19th century. When this style became what was later known as "jazz" remains a matter of debate and definition, although most New Orleans music historians believe what became known as New…show more content…
The habanera was the first written music to be rhythmically based on an African motif. From the perspective of African American music, the habanera rhythm (also known as congo,[4] tango-congo,[5] or tango.[6]) can be thought of as a combination of tresillo and the backbeat.[7] Musicians from Havana and New Orleans would take the twice-daily ferry between both cities to perform and not surprisingly, the habanera quickly took root in the musically fertile Crescent City. John Storm Roberts states that the musical genre habanera, "reached the U.S. 20 years before the first rag was published" (1999: 12).[9] The symphonic work "A Night in the Tropics" (1860) by New Orleans native Louis Moreau Gottschalk, was influenced by the composer's studies in Cuba.[10] Gottschalk used the tresillo variant cinquillo extensively. With Gottschalk, we see the beginning of serious treatment of Afro-Caribbean rhythmic elements in New World art music. For the more than quarter-century in which the cakewalk, ragtime, and proto-jazz were forming and developing, the habanera was a consistent part of African American popular…show more content…
However, jazz gained a wide audience when white orchestras adapted or imitated it, and became legitimate entertainment in the late 1930s when Benny Goodman led racially mixed groups in concerts at Carnegie Hall. Show tunes became common vehicles for performance, and, while the results were exquisite, rhythmic and harmonic developments were impeded until the mid-1940s. The blues, vocal and instrumental, was and is a vital component of jazz. With the passing of time, New Orleans jazz declined greatly by the 1970s. However it began to enjoy a bit of renaissance in the 1980s when Wynton Marsalis, who originally played hard bop and post bop, began to explore his roots. Marsalis paid tribute to Louis Armstrong, King Oliver and even Buddy Bolden in some of his projects and his example was followed at least on a part-time basis by other New Orleans modernists who enjoyed incorporating parade rhythms and some group improvising in their music. The rise of pianists, trumpeters also helped to keep classic New Orleans jazz alive and

More about New Orleans Jazz Style

Open Document