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History of American Music

The history of American music has been a culmination of many different musical styles and tastes that have grown and changed throughout the years. It is an African and European based music that has undergone many variations and changes but, has yet maintained its roots firmly too.

“Music Genres”

As far as the African basis is concerned, it was the two different beats that are known as polyrhythmic that started this when the slave trade brought it to America. This combined with the European classical based music and as a consequence the 2 major music influences began to create completely different genres. These genres became known as soul, rockabilly, jazz, and especially the blues.

It was these blues that has been the inspiration for the rock and roll that we often hear today. Players like BB King, Muddy Waters, Aretha Franklin, and groups such as the Temptations and O jays are a few of the many of the pioneers that has taken this genre to the masses with great success. Eventually, this blues based

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Rock and Roll Music of the 50s

Rock and Roll music of the 1950s It is said that music is a reflection of times in which it is created. If this is true, then the 1950’s music clearly shook the world with its rock and roll. As the affects of the Second World War began to die down, a new energy was infused into the artistic minds of the generation.

“Jazz festivals”

The arena was fertile for the birth of a new genre which would change the face of music for all times to come. The advent of rock and roll marked the coming out of a generation which had stood strong through the years and had endured the scathing effects of two world wars. The music was energetic and created a unique niche for itself in musical history. Music is the quintessential melting pot of world culture and ethnicities and the rock and roll style was a culmination of this mélange.

Strains of music from around the globe blended together to mark

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The Growth of Jazz Music

In the turn from the century about 1920, numerous artists made their mark by playing in the discreet underground nightclubs called “Speakeasies” which are high class, “Blind pig” lower class or “Smokeasy” for tobacco users. The United States once prohibited the sale of alcoholic drinks and smoking tobacco in clubs as a constitutional amendment. One could typically find an underground nightclub by the thresholds without an indication to indicate that there was such as establishment inside. Those dives also had a secret doorway that lead out to a passageway or alley just in case the police came to investigate. The police had the power to arrest everybody in the position attributable to the fact that they were broke the law by being there.

“Best jazz guitarists”

Although, thing were beginning to seek out for Jazz Music once the creation of the record player or phonograph was designed to play jazz albums. In addition, radio stations helped promote Jazz music, and made it favorite among the populace. Jazz Music became a music of class that earned the era a nick name called

Jazz and R&B Pioneer

~Continued from Part 1~

There was also another story behind Della Griffin’s longevity at the Blue Book club. For some reason her integrity was tested when a sizeable sum of cash was left in the women’s bathroom that she used before and/or after performances. She did not take it. Afterwards, having earned the highest level of trust, she was welcome to stay as long as she wanted, which turned out to be more than a decade. Ultimately with mutual feelings of respect and love, the Blue Book became one of Della’s all-time favorite venues.

Following the dissolution of her second marriage, Della Griffin, married unsuccessfully one last time (Jimmy Walker whose name she refused to take feeling that it was not worth the time) and resumed her career, which lasted into the 21st century.

After opening at Harlem’s Blue Book club in 1973, Della Griffin performed there for the next 14 years, until 1987 when she was seriously injured after being hit by a car in Mt. Vernon, NY. In addition, starting in the 1980s, Della resumed working with Etta Jones and joined with Irene Reid. Their

The History of Rap

The origin of hip-hop can be traced back as far as the ancient tribes in Africa. Rap has been compared with the chants, drumbeats and foot-stomping African tribes performed before wars, the births of babies, and the deaths of kings and elders. Historians have reached further back than the accepted origins of hip-hop. It was born as we know it today in the Bronx, cradled and nurtured by the youth in the low-income areas of New York City.

Fast-forward from the tribes of Africa to the ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica in the late sixties. The impoverished of Kingston gathered together in groups to form DJ conglomerates. They spun roots and culture records and communicated with the audience over the music. At the time, the DJ’s comments weren’t as important as the quality of the sound system and its ability to get the crowd moving. Kool Herc grew up in this community before he moved to the Bronx.

During the late sixties, reggae wasn’t popular with New Yorkers. As a DJ, Kool Herc spun rhythm and blues records to please his party crowd. But, he had to add his personal touch.

The Caribbean’s Newest Jazz Hotspot

How the largest of the ABC islands emerged from musical obscurity

For jazz aficionados, the Caribbean has long been a popular tourist destination, as its entrenchment in the history of the music genre draws visitors from several countries each year. But what’s the latest hotspot for jazz lovers looking for a tropical getaway? Look no further than Curacao.

Though in the past jazz festivals in Aruba, Jamaica and St. Lucia were popular tourist draws, Curacao is quickly becoming a leading hub for the international jazz music scene. The past year has been instrumental in boosting Curacao’s jazz (and general travel) status, culminating with the island’s first-ever hosting of the North Sea Jazz Festival earlier this month.

Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival

The original North Sea Jazz Festival is a product of the Netherlands, which has played host country to the internationally recognized event every July since 1976. The largest indoor jazz festival in the world, the JazzTimes described the legendary and luminous event as a place where “the past, present and future of jazz music has appeared to audiences in the tens of thousands

The Best Family Musical Acts

Musical talents, it seems to me, runs in families. I make this assumption not only because no one in my family can sing a note – my sisters and I are hoping to soon release our first album “Like Fingernails on a Chalkboard” – but also because certain families are just musically inclined. There’s fictional singing families like The Brady Bunch, and real life singing families like the Von Trapps. There’s everything from siblings who can sing, like the brothers from Hanson, to mother and daughter acts, like The Judds. Musical ties are often family ties, and sometimes the greatest singing acts can thank their DNA instead of their lucky stars. The following is our list of The Best Family Musical Acts, those that are the mother of all talent.

The Jackson 5: The Jackson family is to music what the Kennedy family is to politics. Arguably the greatest family musical act of all time, not only did the Jackson 5 spawn the King of Pop, but the Jackson 5 was, in itself, one of the largest phenomena’s in music history. A band that began in 1962 in Gary, Indiana, the Jackson 5

Rap Music – The New Frontier?


During the early to mid ’70s, visionaries like Kool DJ Herc introduced new ideas to the way music was played. Like some other music-loving ‘bredren and sistren’ along with myself, Kool DJ Herc was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Following the footsteps of Jamaicans that came before him, he relocated to the Bronx, NYC and took root. With a sound system like no other, there was always a party when Herc spun records. Folks from all city boroughs showed up, and brought their friends. Most of them had never experienced anything like Herc’s thunder in the clubs or at ‘block parties,’ where he was a hometown favorite. There’ll be more on these unique, social gatherings a little later. Kool DJ Herc was one of those cats that was thinking outside the box for a long time, and inspired other DJs to follow suit. Everywhere Herc touched down, he left a distinctive mark imprinted in the minds, bodies, and souls of music lovers in and around the vicinity.

Afrika Bambaataa was homegrown in the Bronx. He is best-known for taking the radical, independent factions of the Hip-Hop lifestyle and organizing

Jazz Festivals in Europe Are Great As Last Minute

If you fancy spicing up your usually summer holiday, consider booking a trip to Europe to not only bask in the sun and enjoy good food, but listen to some of the world’s finest jazz music at some of the continents wonderful jazz events. Top summer fests include those in Umbria in Italy, Nice in France and Switzerland’s Montreux festival. Packages for all of these locations are easily found if you are looking at last minute holidays.

Not only does the Montreux Jazz Festival feature outstanding musical performances, but workshops, film screenings, exhibitions and special projects for festival-goers to participate in. There are lots of holiday deals on offer in Switzerland, so be sure to check out all the options before booking. Since its inception, it has seen world-class performers like Ray Charles, David Bowie and Prince grace its stages. The festival features an eclectic range of world class performers from the fields of jazz, rock, blues, soul, pop, funk, reggae, hip-hop. Over 12 venues host the artists for 18 hours a day, with 10 of which being free to enjoy for the 230, 000 visitors who attend each year. The programme of

Jazz Pianist Extraordinary

One of the most influential players of jazz that the world has known, Oscar Emmanuel Peterson was born on the 15th of August, 1925 in Little Burgundy, Montreal. His living environment was one imbibed with jazz music since lived in a locality where most of the people were African Americans. When just five years old, he was taught the piano and the trumpet. After being affected with tuberculosis a couple of years later, he dropped the trumpet and turned all his efforts towards the piano.

His main teacher these years, was his self taught father who was a porter working with Canadian Pacific Railways. He taught Oscar and his four brothers all that he garnered while playing the piano when he was in the merchant marine. His sister brought to his attention and taught him classical music.

Since starting to play the piano, Oscar made sure he got his basics right he would faithfully practice his scales and classical etudes daily – a habit which gave him a good grounding in the basics which in his later years contributed to a large part of his mastery over the piano. One

The Bright Lights of Broadway

Glamour, glitz and Gershwin. The 1920’s were an era that saw the rise of flappers, gangsters and Broadway musicals.

Coming out of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, America was leaving rural living behind and moving to the big cities. With that came the indulgence of music, moonshine and misbehaving. Unknowingly headed for the Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression, many Americans were indulgent, lawless and living life in the fast lane. It was the time of Al Capone, Hollywood glamour girls and prohibition.

Dance halls and speakeasies were springing up on every corner. The pace of life was headed towards full throttle and all of that was being reflected in American music. The beat got faster and the sound passionately reflected a carefree style of frolic and fun. Ragtime was evolving into the new controversial genre of jazz, which would truly come into its own by the 1930’s. Probably the most definitive and influential music of the decade however, was that of the Broadway musical.

Even in an era that seems technologically primitive to us today, the Lights of Broadway illuminated New York City with

Music Magician David Sylvain

, Sylvain has a shadow that has stretched across 30 years of music history; his immaculately written lyrics have provided inspiration for a number of artists with his songs of spiritual and emotional quest, singer and composer David Sylvain really occupies his own musical space. David Sylvain is a former English singer-songwriter and musician born in Backenham on 23 February 1958. He is a son of a plasterer and a housewife. He was educated at Cat Ford Boys’ School, at Cat ford, and South East London. In his 16 years of age, he along with his brother Steve planned to form a band, which lately became famous in the name of Band Japan.

Their other comrades of that band were guitarist Rob Dean, bassist Mick Kern, keyboardist Richard Barbieri and Sylvain’s Brother Steve Jansen as a drummer and this group starts their dream journey as a group of friends. A changed had been coming to the band Japan after they signed the contract with renowned Hansa, and therefore, they move fast and grab the number-one spot of rock band ranking in all over the Europe and its surrounding areas. The band suffered from

Timeless Musicals Still Running

London’s West End is home to a number of musicals that have been running for many years and never cease to draw in the crowds.

London’s longest running show of all time is the classic Les Miserables. Based off of Victor Hugo’s classic novel of the same name, the musical is a tale of love and redemption set against the bloody and violent French Revolution. Famous songs include “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Can You Hear the People Sing.” The show opened in 1985 and is currently in its twenty-fifth year.

Queen jukebox musical We Will Rock You is in its eighth year. The show is about Galileo, a young noncomformist who faces off against the corporate Killer Queen in a dystopian world that’s set 300 years in the future. The popular musical is a fan favorite and features famous Queen songs like “We Are the Champions” and “Another One Bites the Dust.”

The Phantom of the Opera is London’s second-longest running show and opened just one year after Les Miserables. The musical is perhaps composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most famous show and is based off of

Hip Hop History

Rap music originated as a cross-cultural product. Most of its important early practitioners-including Kool Herc, D.J. Hollywood, and Afrika Bambaataa-were either first- or second-generation Americans of Caribbean ancestry. Herc and Hollywood are both credited with introducing the Jamaican style of cutting and mixing into the musical culture of the South Bronx. By most accounts Herc was the first DJ to buy two copies of the same record for just a 15-second break (rhythmic instrumental segment) in the middle. By mixing back and forth between the two copies he was able to double, triple, or indefinitely extend the break. In so doing, Herc effectively deconstructed and reconstructed so-called found sound, using the turntable as a musical instrument.

While he was cutting with two turntables, Herc would also perform with the microphone in Jamaican toasting style-joking, boasting, and using myriad in-group references. Herc’s musical parties eventually gained notoriety and were often documented on cassette tapes that were recorded with the relatively new boombox, or blaster, technology. Taped duplicates of these parties rapidly made their way through the Bronx, Brooklyn, and uptown Manhattan, spawning a number of similar DJ acts. Among the new breed of DJs

Music Genres

This is a list of some of the world’s music genre and their definitions.

African Folk – Music held to be typical of a nation or ethnic group, known to all segments of its society, and preserved usually by oral tradition.

Afro jazz – Refers to jazz music which has been heavily influenced by African music. The music took elements of marabi, swing and American jazz and synthesized this into a unique fusion. The first band to really achieve this synthesis was the South African band Jazz Maniacs.

Afro-beat – Is a combination of Yoruba music, jazz, Highlife, and funk rhythms, fused with African percussion and vocal styles, popularized in Africa in the 1970s.

Afro-Pop – Afropop or Afro Pop is a term sometimes used to refer to contemporary African pop music. The term does not refer to a specific style or sound, but is used as a general term to describe African popular music.

Apala – Originally derived from the Yoruba people of Nigeria. It is a percussion-based style that developed in the late 1930s, when it was used to

Timeless Musicals Still Running

London’s West End is home to a number of musicals that have been running for many years and never cease to draw in the crowds.

London’s longest running show of all time is the classic Les Miserables. Based off of Victor Hugo’s classic novel of the same name, the musical is a tale of love and redemption set against the bloody and violent French Revolution. Famous songs include “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Can You Hear the People Sing.” The show opened in 1985 and is currently in its twenty-fifth year.

Queen jukebox musical We Will Rock You is in its eighth year. The show is about Galileo, a young noncomformist who faces off against the corporate Killer Queen in a dystopian world that’s set 300 years in the future. The popular musical is a fan favorite and features famous Queen songs like “We Are the Champions” and “Another One Bites the Dust.”

The Phantom of the Opera is London’s second-longest running show and opened just one year after Les Miserables. The musical is perhaps composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most famous show and is based off of

The Mingling of Jazz and Blues

Jazz blues is a musical style that combines both jazz and blues. Jazz, blues, and popular music all got their start in back rooms, clubs, honky-tonks, and in the underground or subculture environments. The histories of jazz, blues, and popular music are intertwined, and the styles often inspire each other. Today, both forms are closely associated and are often combined into a fusion of the two aptly named Jazz blues.

Blues songs are a core component of Jazz blues and have been a highly expressive, predominantly vocal tradition which expressed the stories and emotions of African-Americans at the beginning of the 20th century. Most blues songs usually include words which form a three-line stanza. These are bop songs, but they are blues songs as well. Even songs that are not blues songs, tends to use quite a few blues licks.

Jazz musicians-the people who have educated themselves and who make a living on their own terms despite the odds with all the risks it takes to make this your living, are seen to be outside the system. In the 1970s, many jazz musicians experimented with electronic instruments and created a

Best Jazz Guitarists of All Time

The following is a brief list that includes some of the world’s best jazz guitarists of all time. Whether you’re an aspiring jazz musician or just someone who appreciates the music, this list is for you.

Charlie Christian

Charles “Charlie” Christian was an American jazz guitarist who lived from 1916-1942. He is credited with bringing the jazz guitar out of the rhythm section and into the world of solo instrumentals. He was called the best improvisational talent of the swing era and one of the founding fathers of bebop, while single-handedly influencing nearly every other artist on our list. He was so diverse that he eventually was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame for his early influence.

Wes Montgomery

As the jazz music world continued to gain popularity, more artists emerged. Among them was Wes Montgomery, who was greatly influenced by Charlie Christian. In fact, he learned Christian’s solo and often played them note for note. Montgomery would eventually develop powerful techniques and lines for his own solos which would make him one of the most important and best jazz guitarists of

A History of America’s Music” – Geoffrey C Ward & Ken Burns

Chapter 1: America claims to be a melting pot, but part of what makes cooking taste good are the morsels that have kept their flavor, texture and shape. America is diversity in places such as the French Quarter of New Orleans on page 3 of chapter one. We see this morsel clinging in the pot, holding its taste, its flavor-truly French, yet significantly what we claim to be America.

In the scene, we can see both Paris and the Midwest. A beat down main street feel, with horse drawn wagons and bearded men in dusters. Yet in the wrought-iron spires we see Paris. The mood is summed up with the hybrid of Paris and the West in a blacksmith sign proclaiming “Bouchoux.”

Chapter 2: It is important to see landmarks such as Louis Armstrong’s birthplace (p. 38). This shows how often great hearts and minds come from humble beginnings. Out of poverty comes greatness. It makes one pause and think of what the segregated south he was born into was like in 1901.

The picture, taken in 1963, remind us that time marches on. The “Jax” cola

The Most Influential People in Music

Here is a list of arguably the most influential people in music history. It’s a list which could be debated for months which makes it even more interesting, but what is incontrovertible is the profound impact these people have had on not only the music industry but on our culture as well.

What list of the most influential people in music would be complete without The Beatles? The Beatles changed the face of Pop and the music industry. They pushed boundaries with albums such as “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “the White Album”. There mix of psychedelic transient whorls and messages of love and peace became a catalyst for the hippy revolution and influenced the way people thought. The band became so influential they were able to break the mould and create a whole new concept and definition of what popular music should be. The Beatles harnessed the environment around them and communicated a meaningful message to the masses.

Elvis Presley was from Memphis, Tennessee his southern drawl and punk rock fashion influenced politics and music. His music was influenced by Jazz, Gospel and Blues and helped break