Today is International Jazz Day! A day to celebrate a uniquely American art form that has influenced and inspired much of the music we enjoy.
The hallmark sounds of Jazz are deeply rooted in the musical traditions and experiences of the African-American community and reflect a complicated history that involves pain and struggle, happiness and hope, and the relentless pursuit of freedom.
The sounds of Jazz are said to have first resonated in Congo Square before the Civil War. Located in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Congo Square was the only place in America where enslaved African's were allowed to drum, dance, and perform their music. If you listen closely you can hear the jubilant melodies, vibrant rhythms, and rich heritage of West Africa in the music we love today.
The evolution of Jazz continues today with musicians, both young and old, exploring new sounds while mixing and melding the musical styles, culture, emotions, and experiences of those who create and enjoy the free and easy sounds of Jazz.