June is African American Music Appreciation Month.
The flowering of the Jazz Age is a tale of two great cities, Chicago and New York, and two extraordinary artists whose achievements spanned nearly three-quarters of a century. Louis Armstrong was a fatherless waif who grew up on the rough streets of New Orleans, developing his extraordinary gifts before moving to Chicago, where his transcendent sound inspired a new generation of musicians. Duke Ellington, raised in middle-class comfort, outgrew the society music of Washington, D.C., and headed for Harlem, where he formed a band and created a music all his own. This program also tells the stories of Paul Whiteman, a white bandleader who sold millions of records playing a sweet, symphonic jazz, and Fletcher Henderson, a black bandleader who packed the whites-only Roseland Ballroom with his bold arrangements. Distributed by PBS Distribution. Part of the series Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns. (110 minutes). Distributed by PBS Distribution.