The History of Jazz Music

Jazz music originated in New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. African-American musicians invented the music genre and it soon gained extreme popularity throughout the United States and eventually the world. Now, everyone recognizes this genre and it remains incredibly popular. Few people know the exact history and development of jazz, this post will give an overview.


Jazz grew out of the tradition of blues, which was a type of music from the South that the African-American community inspired and created. Blues had its roots in hymns and work and field songs, which were used to accompany different activities. The message blues delivered was one of overcoming oppression and a broken heart. Even though blues was the origin of jazz, it’s still it’s the own music genre that’s popular today and is still developing.



During the 1920s

In the early 1900s, Louis Armstrong was born and became a jazz legend in his teenage years, eventually becoming famous for improvising his solos on the cornet and later on the trumpet. In 1920, prohibition began and jazz flourished, allowing musicians perform in speakeasies and mixing people from different backgrounds together to enjoy the music. Jazz moved to Chicago shortly before prohibition, but when speakeasies became more popular in NYC, it led to the migration of jazz musicians and the music into that city. During this decade, black and white men and women all became involved in jazz music, whether as musicians, singers, or fans.

The rest of the 1900s

After the 1920s, jazz began spreading to other parts of the world, particularly South America. New styles of jazz emerged, as aspects of other cultures’ music were adapted to be added into jazz. People from all backgrounds and different places found they had a love for jazz, which allowed many various styles to succeed.


Modern day

Today, jazz is still a beloved part of modern culture, often played in bars and clubs, but also in high schools, colleges, and places all over the world. There are even young musicians who are making their names known through their talent at playing jazz. Modern jazz is marked by a variety of styles that players frequently alternate between, often during a single performance.


For a detailed look at jazz history, check out this link, which gives a year by year breakdown of jazz music.