Father of Jazz May Have Been Louis Armstrong

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 30, 2010 | Go to article overview
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Father of Jazz May Have Been Louis Armstrong


Jazz is a type of music that invites the musician to be directed by feelings as well as the sheet music.

Jazz was pieced together from other musical styles popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s, including ragtime, folk, African spirituals, Creole, gospel, blues and marching band. Jazz started in New Orleans and has been embraced by artists and audiences all over the world.

Jazz music typically has a strong brass section with saxophone, trumpet, cornet, trombone and tuba, and also can include bass, guitar, clarinet, drums, flute, piano and vocal arrangements.

Bruce Boyd Raeburn, curator of the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University in New Orleans, says one of the first jazz singers most likely was the world famous trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong.

"That's not an easy question, because the singers who sang on early jazz recordings, the only documents we can use to make comparisons, often weren't jazz singers. I think Louis Armstrong would probably be the first example that everyone could agree on. He became famous in 1926 for his vocals on 'Heebie Jeebies,' on which he scats."

Louis Armstrong was born around 1900 in New Orleans, a city where life and music

are inseparable.

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Father of Jazz May Have Been Louis Armstrong
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