The Big Apple and jazz music go together like Paris and expressionist art. New Yorkers have listened to jazz in smoky late-night clubs since the early 1900s. While cigarette smoke may have vacated the premises in 2002, jazz in The City That Never Sleeps is still going strong, having endured now for over a century.
African Americans led the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, birthing musicians such as Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong. Spots such as The Cotton Club and Carnegie Hall survived prohibition, mob rule, and segregation to deliver jazz to flappers, gangsters, budding musicians, tourists, and of course, late-night revelers looking to dance.
Jazz in the western world is all thanks to Lieutenant James Reese Europe (also known as Jim Europe). Jim Europe and his band were the leading pioneers for the growth of African-American-created jazz throughout the post-war period. Their brand of proto-Jazz music, written exclusively by black composers, kick-started a movement that would see jazz music eventually hit the mainstream.
Jazz was first recorded in Copenhagen just under one hundred years ago. Whilst it took the 50s and 60s for Denmark to assert itself as a key jazz capital of the world, it was that key moment in the 1920s that initiated early Danish interest in the genre.
Danish musician Valdemar Eiberg formed the first Danish jazz band and released the track “I’ve Got a Cross-Eyed Papa” with musicians Otto Lington and Kai Ewan, under the name Valdemar Eiberg Og Hans Jazz Orkester. However, even though notable American musicians had started to flock to the city’s live music bars, jazz music was still a long way yet from having its moment in the limelight.
Jazz Clubs In Stockholm: The Five Best Venues
Like its neighbouring Denmark, Sweden has enjoyed jazz music for around a century now. The genre was first introduced over the Swedish border in the 1920s. Despite the poor reputation of jazz back then–people suspicious of this new genre which allowed such expressionism–very small clusters of underground groups were formed to keep the jazz flame alive.
Jazz in London is an ever-changing ensemble. While the city is stuffed with iconic jazz music venues, the musical landscape is always shifting, with new venues popping up all the time.
The musical appearance made by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band at the London Hippodrome in 1919 was the first official live jazz performance ever in the United Kingdom. Seven years later, Spanish jazz pianist Fred Elizalde and his band started performing regularly on the BBC.
Jazz music in The Windy City is a different kettle of fish. Chicago jazz is an eclectic mix of Mississippi Delta (the area between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers) and the New Orleans’ ‘Dixieland’ style, a movement kickstarted by the Original Dixieland Jass Band, who made the first-ever jazz recordings in 1917.
If you watch jazz in Chicago be prepared for original pieces, classic covers, and improvised sessions that last long into the night – or even the morning!