• Jazz grew from humble beginnings in the southern United States to become one of the most widely recognized musical styles in the world. In the roughly one hundred years that jazz has been a musical enclave it has shaped the world around it in ways few art forms have. The story of jazz music is a story of movement, a story of migration, and most importantly, a story of place.

    By following the trails left throughout jazz’s history, we can see how the art form became what it is today. Each stop along the road map of jazz evolution is an example of how the flavor of place influenced the jazz it created. Explore with us as we trace the roots of jazz, which Alan Durst, director of the Jazz Orchestra at Fresno State once said, “...America’s original art form, the baseball of music.”

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    bebop Noun

    style of jazz music.

    blues Noun

    musical style associated with jazz.

    Charlie Parker Noun

    (1920-1955) American jazz saxophonist and composer.

    diaspora Noun

    community of people scattered from their homeland.

    Dizzy Gillespie Noun

    (1917-1993) American jazz trumpeter and composer.

    First Great Migration Noun

    (~1915-~1930) movement of African Americans from the South, mostly to urban areas in the North.

    internal migration Noun

    the movement of people from one area in a country or nation to another.

    jazz Noun

    American musical style with many variations, often featuring strong rhythms and difficult solos.

    Miles Davis Noun

    (1926-1991) American jazz trumpeter and composer.

    Prohibition Noun

    (1920-1933) time in the U.S. when the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages was illegal.

    rhythm Noun

    musical pattern or beat.