Jazz begins in New Orleans, 19th century America's most cosmopolitan city, where the sound of marching bands, Italian opera, Caribbean rhythms, and minstrel shows fills the streets with a richly diverse musical culture. In the 1890s, African-American musicians such as Jelly Roll Morton, Buddy Bolden and Sydney Bichet create a new music out of these ingredients. Soon after the start of the new century, people are calling it jazz.
Did You Know?
Jazz is an improvisational art, making itself up as it goes along, just like the country that gave it birth. It rewards individual expression but demands selfless collaboration. It is forever changing but nearly always rooted in the blues. It has a rich tradition and its own rules, but it is brand new every night.