San Antonio Jazz Music History Lesson: 1700’s

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San Antonio Jazz Music History Lesson: 1700’s

Jazz is a musical style whose origins are often cited as beginning during the early days of the 20th century in the rural south of the United States. But to get the true picture, one must travel much further in distance and in time – to West Africa in the 1700’s.

While members of West African tribes were forcibly taken from their homes and homelands to be sold into slavery and sent to the New World, one thing that couldn’t be separated from them was their traditional music. The rhythms of the powerful African percussion began to influence American music. Work songs were created by slaves in the African tradition of call-and-response. To tell a story, a song leader would call out a line and the workers would respond. Many slaveholders wouldn’t allow slaves to converse with each other, so song became their only method of communicating. They developed various ways of getting their secret messages across in the lyrics. Slaves also sang soulful songs called “spirituals” to express their religious beliefs, feelings and desire for freedom. Spirituals and work songs are part of the foundation of jazz.

If you’re planning an office event, chamber concert, wedding ceremony or special event that calls for professional Austin jazz musicians or San Antonio jazz music, please contact us so we can help. Our performances can range to include the trumpet, violin, cello, string quartet, and so much more! From traditional jazz music to contemporary choices, we provide the perfect setting for that special event.

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