Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Philadelphia's Love Affair With Jazz

When jazz was born in the late 19th century, music was never the same. Jazz is one of the greatest gifts the African American communities of New Orleans have ever given the world. Immediately following suit was the city of Philadelphia, which housed the largest population of African-Americans in northern Pennsylvania. 

Image source: Wikimedia.org

Philadelphia’s rich musical culture has its roots deep in the early 1800s. Classical and religious music was quite prevalent in the city, and the citizens heavily supported their own symphony orchestra and choral societies. 

As jazz was making its way to the Philadelphian music scene, it was looked down at first as the city’s traditional music was being challenged by this new, high-energy, up-tempo, improvisational sound from the South. However, that disinclination did not last long. 

It was not only the African Americans that were drawn to jazz. Thousands of European immigrants and children of other ethnic backgrounds fell in love with the universally appealing music. 

Image source: flowersinagun.com
By 1920s, Philadelphia started producing its own notable jazz performers. It hd Ethel Waters, a singer from Chester, Pennsylvania, and two of the most significant jazz musicians in America at the time in Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti. 

Up until now, Philadelphia is still one of the places to be when it comes to jazz and it will continue to be at the forefront of the jazz music scene. 

For more great reads about jazz music, visit this Christopher J. Keehner here blog.

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