Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
Jazz - All American Music

Jazz - All American Music
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.28

     challenging words:    bandleader, bluesy, cornet, fusion, improvisation, phenomenon, experimental, characteristic, trombone, original, composer, album, gravely, showcase, creativity, musical
     content words:    New Orleans, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Creole Jazz Band, Roll Morton, Mississippi River, Soon Chicago, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sophisticated Lady

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Jazz - All American Music
By Sharon Fabian

1     It was the latest thing. Americans loved it, and soon, so did people all over the world. The brassy, bluesy sound of jazz was a truly American creation; some even say that it was the only truly American art form.
2     Even though jazz seemed brand new in the 1920's, it had actually been developing over many years. In the early 1900's, African-American blues along with music from other traditions combined with a New Orleans style of band music played for funeral processions. The result of that combination was a brand new sound - jazz.
3     New Orleans was home to some of the original Jazz masters. Louis Armstrong - the famous jazz trumpet player, Jelly Roll Morton - the famous pianist, and Joe "King" Oliver - the famous cornet player all called New Orleans home.
4     Louis Armstrong was applauded for his trumpet and cornet playing and for his famous, gravely singing voice. In the 1920's, he played in King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. Jelly Roll Morton was a great jazz composer as well as a piano player.
5     From New Orleans, jazz made its way up the Mississippi River. It landed in Chicago. Soon Chicago became the place to go to hear the best and the latest music - the syncopated, changing-with-the-moment sound of jazz. Jazz soon spread from Chicago to other major cities across the country.

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