Jazz – Uniquely American Music
A little Jazz History
The foundations of jazz extend back in time to nineteenth century slave work songs, field shouts, sorrow songs and spirituals, whose harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic elements were predominantly African. These elements gradually blended, and the first music that we now call jazz was played by African-American and Creole musicians in New Orleans in the early twentieth century.
At its infancy, jazz contained elements of Ragtime, marching band music, and the Blues. Over the coming decades, this native-born form of musical expression evolved into swing, bebop, hard bop, cool jazz, fusion, smooth jazz and contemporary. Truly, the wide-ranging sounds of jazz capture the dynamic complexity of the American experience. Equally telling, the medium of jazz has been embraced by musicians and music lovers spanning the globe from Europe to Asia to Africa.
The Amelia Island Jazz Festival is dedicated to building upon this rich cultural foundation by exposing thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds to the sounds, excitement and vitality of great jazz.