Upbeat Jazz Music to Get You Moving

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some upbeat jazz music to get you moving? Look no further than our roundup of the best tracks out there! From classic swing tunes to modern masterpieces, we’ve got something for everyone.


Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities in the Southern United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime.

The term “jazz” first appeared in print in 1915 in the Chicago Defender, an African-American newspaper, when a local gig promoter used it to advertise a forthcoming performance by his band. The first printed use of the word appears to be in an article from October 1915 in Music Trades magazine. Other spellings that were used more or less interchangeably with “jazz” until about 1920 were “jass” and “jas.” By1920, “jazz” was being used as a generic term for any kind of popular music, including dance music and broadcast music.

The Best Upbeat Jazz Songs

Looking for some upbeat Jazz songs to get you moving? Look no further! In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best upbeat Jazz songs to get your groove on. From classics to modern day bops, we’ve got you covered.

“A Night in Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie

One of the most popular and well-known jazz songs of all time, “A Night in Tunisia” was composed by Dizzy Gillespie in 1942. A staple of the jazz repertoire, it has been recorded countless times by a wide variety of artists. The tune is based on two earlier African-American folksongs, “John Henry” and “Whiskey Before Breakfast”.

The first recording of “A Night in Tunisia” was made by the Benny Goodman Sextet in December 1942. It immediately became an important part of the band’s repertoire, and they continued to perform and record it throughout their career. The song has since been recorded by many other artists, including Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie.

“Take the ‘A’ Train” by Duke Ellington

“Take the ‘A’ Train” is a 1941 composition by Duke Ellington that became one of the most famous jazz standards of all time. It is the signature song of the Ellington band and was used as the theme song for his radio show, The Swing Session. The tune was composed by Billy Strayhorn, Ellington’s longtime collaborator, and is considered one of the greatest jazz compositions of all time.

The tune is based on a rhythmic figure that Strayhorn heard while riding on New York’s A train. Themelody features a number of embellishments that are common in jazz, such as trills, grace notes, and blue notes. The arrangement is typical of Ellington’s style, with distinctive parts for each section of the band.

“Take the ‘A’ Train” has been recorded by many artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, and Sarah Vaughan. It remains one of the most popular tunes in the jazz repertoire and continues to be performed and recorded by new generations of musicians.

“All Blues” by Miles Davis

This legendary jazz song was released in 1959 on Miles Davis’ album “Kind of Blue.” It has a slow and groove-based feel that makes it perfect for getting you moving. The main melody is played by the horns, with the piano and bass providing support. The drums keep things moving along at a nice clip, making this an ideal choice for an upbeat jazz song.

“Now’s the Time” by Charlie Parker

“Now’s the Time” is a jazz standard composed by alto saxophonist Charlie Parker in 1945. The original composition was entitled “Thriving from a Riff”, and was first recorded by Parker with pianist Jay McShann and his band.The song is based on the chord progression of George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm”, which had served as the source for numerous other jazz tunes.

In his liner notes to the 1998 CD release of Parker’s Dial masters, discographer Doug Pomeroy wrote: “‘Now’s the Time’ was evidently one of the first bebop heads to use ‘I Got Rhythm’ changes exclusively, since previous compositions such as Dizzy Gillespie’s ‘Salt Peanuts’ and Tadd Dameron’s ‘Hot House’ had interpolated other chord changes as well. In addition, ‘Now’s the Time’ marked Parker’s first attempt at creating a through-composed melody over a repeating background; his approach would soon become the norm in bebop.”


We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of upbeat jazz tracks to get you moving. Jazz is such a versatile genre with so many different styles and sub-genres, there’s bound to be something here for everyone. If you’re looking for something to lift your spirits and get your body moving, give these tracks a try.

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