May: Jazz

Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington

Jazz is a unique American style of music which has deep roots in the African American community in this country, especially in cities like New Orleans, New York, and Chicago. But what exactly is Jazz? Jazz is a style of music that is known for its swinging rhythms, and a chord structure which allows musicians to improvise. Improvising is when musicians take a basic tune that they know well, and make up music on the spot based on that tune.  In order to improvise a musician needs to really know the original tune well in order to improvise music that fits with the original composition.  When vocalists improvise it is call Scat Singing, a style that was popularized by Louis Armstrong.  

Here are some web sites you can visit to learn more about Jazz:

Classics for Kids

Chuck Vandechuck’s Jazz Explosion

Jazz Video

Brief History of Jazz Video

Watch some classic Jazz performances:

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