Through the mid-1940’s, many jazz musicians were drafted to fight in World War II. Big dance bands had troubles finding musicians. In the United States, there were war restrictions on the use of plastics, which meant that fewer records were produced in order to conserve plastic. In addition, gasoline was also restricted, which made it difficult for bands to travel. Add to these hardships that African American jazz bands continued to face racial discrimination by the record industry, clubs and audiences. White jazz bands had financial success, while talented black entertainers were often overlooked.
A million African Americans served in the armed forces during this period, including nearly half a million overseas, and all on a basis of strict segregation (the unfair practice of keeping blacks and whites separate). Even blood supplies for saving the lives of the wounded were kept separate by race. During these warring years, there were bloody confrontations between black and white troops at military bases all across the country. Off-base, black soldiers were harassed, beaten, barred from buses and even from restaurants where German prisoners of war were allowed to eat. Many African Americans began a “Double V” campaign – fighting against tyranny abroad and discrimination at home. Victory seemed just out of reach, but the winds of change were coming.
If you’re planning an office event, chamber concert, wedding ceremony or special event that calls for professional Austin jazz music or San Antonio jazz musicians, 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.