History of Jazz

When was jazz invented?

The genre of jazz music was created in the late 19th century by the famous and talented American African Charles Joseph, also known as Buddy Bolden (1877-1931). In the 1900s Bolden was without a doubt the most well-known and popular jazz artist in New Orleans- everybody knew his name. His exceptional talent to create jazz still influences jazz music today. The fundamental key elements of jazz music derived from Bolden’s ideas and creations. That’s why he’s seen as a key contributor in the history and invention of jazz. Initially, Buddy called this music ‘jass’ but as it grew more popular it became ‘jazz’ as this name was more appealing. However, it was 1895 when jazz music really took off around the world. This year is when Bolden started his first band,

Around the time that jazz was invented there is actually little evidence of jazz works. But there’s one thing for certain – if Bolden wasn’t the inventor of jazz, he was certainly the first king. His style is described as innovative, stylish and of course, extremely harmonious. People from all over the world got to hear his music and you’d hear it playing regularly in bars. With people dancing around enjoying his incredible musical style. His vocal characteristics also blew people away and are perhaps what made him a star. He was a significant reason for the popularity of jazz music. The songs he created are still very much listened to today. His most well-known works include ‘Funky Butt’, ‘Get Out of Here’, ‘Careless Love’, ‘If You Don’t Shake’, ‘High Society Rag’ and ‘Buddy’s Habits’. Soulful melodies, upbeat dance tunes and the mixture of brass instruments made Bolden a huge part of the jazz movement.

The elements of Jazz

There are many elements that combine to make jazz music. You can have a mixture of brass instruments which create a beautiful harmony. A jazz band will usually include a vocalist, trumpet player, tenor trombone player (usually three) and a bass trombone player. Improvisation plays a massive part in the creation of jazz music- it’s all part of the fun! People love when jazz bands go off track and create their own music on the spot. It also gives all members of a band a chance to show off their skill set with a solo. It’s the essence of jazz music. And obviously requires great skill, which is why people love it so much. Jazz is very rhythmic, you may also hear it referred to as ”swing’, ‘bent’ or ‘blue’.

Different types of jazz music

The most magical thing about jazz music is that it can create any emotion. Whether its an upbeat and happy song or a painful and unhappy song. Many jazz artists, particularly in history, used jazz to express the suffering and unjust in the world. For example, Ella Fitzgerald made music about the unfair treatment of people of colour. Her music was a stand against racial discrimination and she expressed her pain through her music. There can be significant variations in jazz music so it has the power to express many different emotions. Each jazz musician will find their own sound and style and this is what makes them all unique and special. For example, Louis Armstrong plays the trumpet very different from Miles Davis. The two distinct styles are evident in all of their music. And both are extremely well-known and famous jazz musicians.

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