The Topic:
Jazz Music

This 42eXplore project on jazz music contains hundreds of biography sites for singers and musicians, but you will not find them on this main page. If you need information on people from Cannonball Adderly and Louis Armstrong to Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and on to Ethel Waters and Lester Young - - then don't miss visiting the eduScapes companion webpage, Biographies of Jazz Musicians.
Easier - Jazz is a type of lively music with strong, complex rhythms. It was first played at the beginning of the 20th century by black musicians in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jazz musicians often accent or add notes or beats in unusual or unexpected places. They make up tunes as they play. Jazz music has changed, and today there are many different forms of Jazz.
Harder - Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, the earliest documented jazz music style emerged in New Orleans. Jazz began with a basic trio of musicians: a cornet, trumpet, or violin to carry the melody while a clarinet played ornate countermelodies, and the trombone provided rhythmic slides and the root notes of chords or simple harmonies. Below this group, there was a guitar or banjo sounding out the chords, sometimes a piano and/or a string bass, and drums supplying a rhythmic accompaniment.
In theory these musicians and their instrument roles are the same as in other kinds of music, but jazz depends more on interpretation by individuals than on reproducing a fully annotated score. Jazz blends in improvisation and other elements of black music such as blues and ragtime to make a unique American music form. In jazz, musicians often play solos that they make up on the spot, or they reinterpret a given melody or chord sequence. When more than one musician is playing, the rhythms often become very complex. There is tremendous variety in jazz; the music is rhythmic, has a forward momentum called "swing," and employs "bent" or "blue" notes. One can often hear "call and response" patterns where one instrument, voice, or band section answers another. With a few exceptions found in some styles, most jazz is based on the principle that an endless number of melodies can fit the chord progressions of a song. Musicians improvise new melodies that fit the progressions. Other featured soloists follow with their improvisations for as many choruses as desired.
All About Jazz
This comprehensive site provides jazz news, reviews, festivals, interviews, audio downloads, photos, and much, much more.
Related Websites:
2) Jazz Corner
3) Jazz Guide
4) Jazz Online
5) Passion for Jazz!
6) WNUR-FM JazzWeb
Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns from PBS
Explore the history of jazz music. Here you can learn about some famous jazz women, watch a RealPlayer video trailer to the film, read up on Louis Armstrong and other jazz greats, read transcripts from the show, and lots, lots more.
Related Website:
2) Ken Burns Jazz
Related Websites from PBS:
3) Duke Ellington's Washington
4) Jazz Kids
Jazz Primer for Rock People by C. Matthews from Oculus Magazine
This site provides a comprehensive history of jazz for people who don't know Charlie Parker from Charles Mingus. It includes basic information with a timeline including pre-1918 jazz, the influence of blues, Dixieland, swing, bop, cool, free jazz, funk, fusion, and recommended reading and listening.
Related Website:
2) Jazz Improvisation Primer by M. Sabatella
Smithsonian Jazz from Smithsonian Museum of American History
Learn about the present and the past of this truly original American art form. Don't miss the online classes.
Related Website:
2) Jazz Roots
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of the following projects.
Campaign For Your Favorite Jazz Performer. First, choose a favorite jazz musician or singer. You may find someone on the Biographies of Jazz Musicians webpage from eduScapes. Then create an eye-catching poster that promotes your choice. Display your finished artwork.
Complete A Jazz WebQuest. Adapt of follow the instructions found at these webQuest sites:
2) Jazz Musicians
3) Jazz Radio Program (Grades 9-12) by J.S. Ladd
4) Jazz Through the Ages (Grade 6) by P. Doyle
5) Jazzy Publishing Company (Grade 2) by P. Martin
Send A Jazz eCard. Share jazz with a friend by selecting a favorite and sending an eCard. You can find them at Jazz Card from PBS or Email Post Card from Jazz Roots.
Graph The Relationship Of Jazz Music Styles. Use Inspiration software to produce a "graphic organizer" illustrating the various styles of jazz music and the relationships among and between them. Include illustrations, significant characteristics, time periods, representative performers, and major events related to each of the styles.
Take An Online Jazz Quiz. See how you do on one or all of the quizzes at Early Jazz Quiz by T.L. Morgan at Jazz Roots.
Analyze The Life and Achievements Of A Jazz Performer. Select a person from jazz music history. Research their life and achievements. Develop a multimedia presentation (Using PowerPoint, webpage development, or other presentation software) that highlights their life and achievements. Be sure to identify and include significant events and important influences. Whenever possible and where appropriate, include photographs, illustrations, and audio clips of their music.
Websites By Kids For Kids
All That Jazz (1998 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This project site provides the history of jazz, American classical music, the stages of jazz including its beginnings, swing era, bop era, and recent developments as well as new stars. Short biographies of some famous jazz musicians are also provided.
Back to the "Jazz Age" (2000 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
Here you can listen to jazz music, learn about the legendary figures of jazz and basically leap to the past. It is a precise and quick way to learn about jazz and its history.
Celebrating Jazz (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This project reviews the important elements of jazz music including a brief history, famous musicians, jazz styles, and the instruments used to create jazz.
Related Jazz Projects from ThinkQuest Junior:
2) Jazz It Up (2001)
3) Swing City (2002)
Education in Jazz Theory (2001 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This site looks at what makes jazz music jazz and how to play it. It was created for musicians of all levels -- from beginners to experienced players.
Harlem Renaissance: The Jazz Age by K. King
This student report is about the Harlem Renaissance, the evolution of jazz music, and jazz musicians during the time period.
iJAZZ: Internet Jazz Exploration (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
Our website was designed as a portal to provide links to outstanding jazz websites, a brief history of jazz, a theory and instruments section, plus chatrooms and message boards -- all designed to help you learn more about jazz music.
More Websites
Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame
The "Hall" provides history, information about inductees, and more.
Big Band Database Plus
This comprehensive website is dedicated to jazz and to swing history and to the music now known to the world as "American popular song".
Welcome to the official website for Birdland featuring the club’s schedule, menu, CDs and a history of this important jazz landmark.
Other Popular Jazz Club Sites:
2) Blue Note
Contemporary Jazz
Here you find news, reviews, and information about the latest releases.
Golden Age of Jazz from William P. Gottlieb Collection
Comprising of over sixteen hundred photographs, this site documents the jazz scene from 1938-1948 (primarily in New York City and Washington, DC). It also highlights great photos of Holiday, Sinatra, Gillespie, Ellington, and just about everyone who was anyone in the 1940s jazz scene.
Related Website:
2) William P. Gottlieb Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz from The Library of Congress
International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE)
This organization's mission is to assure the continued worldwide growth and development of jazz and jazz education.
Jazz from William and Gayle Cook Music Library, Indiana University School of Music
Here is a great collection of links to worldwide Internet resources for jazz music.
Jazz Canadiana by H. Hill
The authoritative site contains news, information, biographies, and an extensive links section on jazz.
Jazz Guitar Online
This is the online information source for jazz guitarists.
Kansas City: Paris of the Plains from Miller-Nichols Library, Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City
Explore the physical, musical, and political life of the city during the jazz age of 1920-1940.
Related Websites:
2) Chicago Part One from NPR Jazz Profiles
3) Chicago Part Two from NPR Jazz Profiles
4) Club Kaycee: Kansas City Jazz History from Miller Nichols Library, Univ. of Missouri -
Kansas City
5) Swinging through Time: The Graystone Museum and the Story of Detroit Jazz
Lush Lives: Ladies of Jazz from 1930 to 1990 by I. Rangel, K. Hicks, and K. Scott
Here you learn about and see some photographs of each decade's memorable jazz singers.
Related Website:
2) Women in Jazz from PBS Jazz
Red Hot Jazz Archive
The music called Jazz was born sometime around 1895 in New Orleans. Combining elements of ragtime, marching band music, and blues, jazz was differentiated from these earlier styles by its widespread use of improvisation, often by more than one player at a time. The site is a place to study and enjoy the music of the early "Jazzmen".
Riverboats and Jazz by B.B. Raeburn from the Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane University
This online exhibit uses rare antique photographs to explore the unique connection between dance music and Mississippi riverboats.
Traditional Jazz (Dixieland)
This links-site connects to information and resources on Dixieland jazz.
Jazz Magazines / Publications
Jazz Radio Broadcasts / Webcasts
Websites For Teachers
Defining Jazz Music (Grades 9-12) from TeacherVision
This unit contains four integrated lessons designed for 45-55 minute class periods. students will attempt to develop their individual and collective definitions of jazz.
Related Lesson Plan from TeacherVision:
2) Jazz Talk Show (Grades 4-8)
Duke Ellington Centennial Celebration (Grades 6-8)
This lesson series will introduce Ellington's music to your students.
Jazz Composers of the Twentieth Century (Grade 2) by P. Martin
This is a three-day lesson plan for teaching how to research and report on jazz composers of the twentieth century using literature and the Internet, particularly the Library of Congress website.
Jazz in America from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz
The mission is to provide public school-based jazz education programs - -11th grade is online now, more to be added.
Lesson Plans (Grades K-5) from PBS Jazz Kids
This site has activities with accompanying lesson plans for language arts, social studies, music, and math.
Related Site from PBS:
2) Jazzy Lessons and Activities for K-12 Cats
Jazz Talk (Grades 6-12) from Discovery School
Students will analyze work songs, spirituals, blues, and gospel songs in order to develop an appreciation for the origins of jazz music.
blue notes
brass instrument
Windy City
after hours
Harlem Renaissance
Duke Ellington
Billie Holiday
musical riff
Count Basie
Louis Armstrong
standing bass
jam session
Lindy hop
call & response
hard bop
rock 'n roll
Negro Baseball Leagues
Crescent City
bent notes
blue note
musical instruments
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 2/03.