Jazz music appeared in early 20 th century in the urban regions of USA, in particular New Orleans. Almost simultaneously, this unique style occurred in North American regions like Chicago, Kansas City and Saint Louis.
Jazz is one of the greatest cultural and social achievements of America. This music appeared to be a uniting tool for a multi-hued society divided by regions, race, and national boundaries. Jazz bands and musicians stood for freedom and national identity of American people. What makes jazz music unique is that it has never been a result of reproducing a tune, but an idea, passion and creative force that has started up in mind and then transformed into music.
Many consider orchestras known as Big Bands and dixieland bands the beginning of contemporary jazz. After them, so-called combos (bands of 3-6 talented musicians) appeared. Over the course of time, instrumental and vocal jazz changed significantly and new sound like bebop and free jazz occured, which, in turn, gave birth to cool jazz, hard-bop, fusion, acid jazz, etc. However, as much as before, the key characteristics of jazz are the African rhythms, improvisation and syncopation.
As for the most influential artists in the history of jazz music, one should start with a famous trumpet player, composer and improvisor, Dizzy Gillespie. As a great musician, Dizzy developed a new harmonious and complicated sound in his jazz compositions like “Groovin’ High” and “Salt Peanuts”. Dizzy used to play with such central figure as Miles Davis (“So What”, “Spanish Key” etc.), who always was ahead of the game, reinventing his own style and sending other talented musicians to the fame. Among them, were the best representatives of the instrumental jazz like Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Cannonball Adderley and Chick Corea.