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Origins in African American Cultures

Jazz music, ragtime, blues, swing are all contributions that are exclusively owned by Black musicians. People of all races enjoy the music originated by Black artists. Artists of all races add their own flare to the basic influences of jazz. Many African Americans were born in New Orleans. Some relocated to play music. In African cultures, music and dance is one and the same. They accompany each other. Drums and percussion is heavily accented in African music. Mibra is a small wooden box. The musician makes a syncopated rhythm playing by beating on the wooden box.

Today, in larger cities, jazz and modern dance classes are accompanied by a live Mibra musician. It is amazing how a musician can make smooth, rhythmical sounds using their hands and a wooden box. There are high notes, low notes, and a melody is continuously going. This is all done by one musician, one instrument, and the box. Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong lived from 1901-71. “Louis Armstrong was the first major artist to emerge in jazz” (Billboard. com, 2005). As with most Jazz musicians, Louis Armstrong came from a very troubled home.

That seemed to influence his success more than hinder it. The great artists do not allow outside influences affect their success. They are not considered social. They spend many hours along in practice. However, they do get noticed. He established improved free range jazz into a recognizable, respectable art form. Armstrong began the writing of sheet music, music notes and structure for jazz music. He invented scat singing. To the untrained, scat singing sounds like the singer forgot the lyrics. Nothing is further then the truth. Many hours of rehearsal goes into scat singing.

Armstrong’s progression of jazz music impressed King Oliver. Louis Armstrong moved to Chicago with Oliver in 1918. New Orleans jazz was developed first. King Oliver and Louis Armstrong developed Chicago jazz, in he Kid Ory band. New Orleans style uses wind instruments; Chicago, uses string instruments, or a combination of both. Eventually, Louis Armstrong married. His wife encouraged him to play independently. For a while, the work went away for jazz musicians. Louis Armstrong’s independence allowed him to go back into the big bands

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