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Jazz in the Harlem Renaissance

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Ally Dunne

on 23 January 2015

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Transcript of Jazz in the Harlem Renaissance

Jazz in the Harlem Renaissance

Duke Ellington
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington
Billie Holiday
-Misfortunate youth
- First started singing in 1930, looked up to Louis Armstrong
- First Film
New Orleans
- Jailed for drug use, Comeback concert at Carnegie Hall
- Short-lived fame with lasting impression on following musicians
- "Crazy he Calls Me" into Grammy Hall of Fame 2010
- Died from Cirrhosis of the Liver
- Known for her up-tempo tunes that seemed to "transcend the troubles of society"
Harlem Renaissance
Cultural/social movement
High concentration of African American's in Harlem
Formation of Jazz music
Bridged the gap between the poor and socially elite
Jazz Clubs
Reactions to Jazz in the 1920s
During the Harlem Renaissance jazz clubs started to appear
These place sometimes sold alcohol and promoted live entertainment such as dance and music
The Cotton Club
In 1920 Jack Johnson rented the building and opened a club called "Club Deluxe"
1923: Owney Madden took it over and renamed it "The Cotton Club"
Club was decorated as a "stylish plantation environment"
BUT most of the staff and performers were African American
Duke Ellington,Ethel Waters, Cab Calloway
The club moved in 1935 and closed in1940
The Savoy Ballroom
Opened in march 1926 in Harlem
owned by Moe Gale and managedCharles Bachanan
The 1st integrated ballroom/public place
streched an entire block and had a luxouriuos feel
"Home of Happy Feet"
Battle of the bands
Chick Webb
Ella Fitzgerald
White Reactions to Jazz
Many white editorialists used their disgust with Jazz to disparage Black people
The people begin with defining Jazz, then compare the Black musicians to savages.
One reaction tried to espouse Black virtues as a soldier from World War I (1919).
A response still heralded the racial inferiority of Black people
The tone did not simmer even in light of racial violence in 1919.
Black Reaction to Jazz
Black newspapers were divided on Jazz as an art form.
Some companies tried to curb Jazz's influence.
Alain Locke only publicly supported Jazz in 1936
The Amsterdam News saw Jazz as a cancer to American culture.
The Crisis did not mention Jazz in the 1920s
DuBois believed that Black people should be concerned with classical music over Jazz and blues.
Medical Field and Jazz
Jazz post-Harlem Renaissance
Critics saw Jazz as threatening to public health.
They used terms like virus, and pathological to describe Jazz.
Some even stated that the rhythms induced something akin to Shell shock.
Advocates for Jazz believed that it promoted beauty, and could act as exercise.
Opinions about Jazz have significantly changed in the years after the Harlem Renaissance.
It's now seen as a music genre of high culture in the U.S.
Jazz and Hip Hop
Hip Hop and Jazz share some aspects in their history.
Native Tongues
The music was seen as the perfect alternative to Gangsta Rap
The music was seen as more cerebral than other styles.
Jazz post-Renaissance
Since the 1950's new styles made Jazz seen to be more intellectual.
Jazz went from savage noise to artful music.
As it became more accepted, it started to become more affiliated with the upper-class.
The people who began to adopt Jazz were more likely educated, and urban
Jazz has become more palatable in upper class outings.
- First Recording 1926 "East St. Louis Toodle-O"
- Ellington Orchestra's operation base: Harlem
- Cultural hero, icon
- House band for Harlem's Cotton Club *Jim Crow Admissions Policy
- Cotton Club's radio broadcast transformed Ellington into a national celebrity
- Double Consciousness
- Cultural ambassador for the Department of State 1950s, 1960s = African Americans took much pride in this
Small's Paradise
Opened in 1925
Owner Ed Small
was located in a basement of a building
waiters served while dancing the charleston
Charlie Johnson's Paradise Orchestra
From Blues to Jazz
Field Songs/Spirituals
Early Jazz
Delta Blues
What is the progression from blues to jazz music? What elements carry over between the styles? What elements evolve or change?
"From the perspective of musical structure, jazz as we know it would not exist without the blues. The twelve-bar blues chorus, with its familiar harmonic structure and narrative form, was the single most popular template for early jazz improvisation..."
-Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz
Influences on Jazz
Spiritual influence
Delta blues
12-bar blues chorus
AAB pattern of lyrics
Improvised off of blues songs
Interaction between blues and jazz musicians
Addition of a band and more instruments
Jazz was received with mixed results
White editorials saw the music as amoral by nature, and almost universally panned the form.
Black Editorials were mixed
Debates even bled through to its merits and issues in the medical field.
Jazz was able to survive after its original heyday in the Harlem Renaissance
Musicians like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, and Thelonious Monk rose to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s.
Their contributions revolutionized the craft.
Jazz post-Renaissance
How Jazz Evolved in Harlem
"The New Negro" -Alain Locke
Shift in subject matter
Narratives versus abstract
Sexuality expressed through jazz
Aim to dispel stereotypes
Ragtime was very structured
Improvisation evolving in this era
Addition of brass instruments
Over time bands got bigger
Swing evolves (1930's)
Initially primarily black audience
Slave era roots
Overtime jazz attracted more of a white audience
Segregated to integrated clubs
"The Harlem Renaissance represents an era in American history during which the uniqueness of African-American culture was celebrated."
Jazz as an outlet
Used to show emotion
Music reflected the time period
Affordable entertainment
Provided a night life scene
Sophia Binici, Ally Dunne, Bobby King, Carolyn Murray, Kristen Watkins
Detroit's a cold, hard place, and I ain't got a dime to my name. I would go the poorhouse, but Lord you know I'm ashamed
" - Victoria Spivey

You hear about a job, now you is on your way.
Twenty mens after the same job, all in the same old day. Hard times hard times : we [sure] got hard times now
" - Barbecue Bob

Lord, I never knew a man could feel so bad
I never knew livin' could be so sad
All I do is set and cry
Lord, I'd have to get better, before I could die
" - Hank Williams

-Lyrics from the Great Depression-
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