June is African American Music Appreciation Month.
The story of jazz begins in New Orleans, 19th-century America’s most cosmopolitan city. Here, in the 1890s, African-American artists created a new music out of ragtime syncopations, Caribbean rhythms, marching band instrumentation, and the soulful feeling of the blues. This program introduces the pioneers of this revolutionary art form: half-mad cornet player Buddy Bolden, pianist Jelly Roll Morton, clarinet prodigy Sidney Bechet, trumpet virtuoso Freddie Keppard, and others. Viewers learn that while the early jazz players roamed the country in the years before World War I, few people outside New Orleans had a chance to hear the new music—until 1917, when a group of white musicians from New Orleans, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, arrived in New York to make the first jazz recording. The Jazz Age was about to begin. Distributed by PBS Distribution. Part of the series Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns. (110 minutes). Distributed by PBS Distribution.