Who Influenced Jazz Music?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Who Influenced Jazz Music is a question that many fans of the genre ask. While there are many different artists who have made an impact on jazz, there are a few that stand out as major influences. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest names in jazz and how they’ve helped to shape the music we know and love today.

What is Jazz?

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It is characterized by syncopated rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, and the use of call-and-response patterns, idiomatic improvisation, and a range of other techniques. Jazz has been influenced by various music genres throughout its history, including blues, gospel, and European classical music.

Origins of Jazz

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. 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. Blending West African musical styles with Western music technology, European harmonies, Jazz emerged in the post-World War I era as one of the earliest popular musical styles in the United States to feature African-American artists.

The Birth of Jazz

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz spans a period of over 100 years, encompassing a large number of subgenres.

Who Influenced Jazz Music?

The history of Jazz Music can be traced back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries in New Orleans. The earliest form of Jazz was known as Dixieland, which was a blend of African and European musical elements. The first Jazz recordings were made in 1917 by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. Jazz continued to evolve throughout the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Many different artists influenced the sound of Jazz during this time.

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.

Born in New Orleans on August 4, 1901, Armstrong began playing the cornet at age 11. He joined Kid Ory’s band in 1918 and played with other New Orleans musicians such as King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton. He moved to Chicago in 1922 to play with Joe “King” Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. After a stint in New York City, he returned to Chicago in 1925 and made his first recordings with his own group, the Hot Five.

Armstrong popularized many techniques that are now considered standard jazz trumpet playing. He was able to play higher and faster than any other trumpeter of his time, and he had perfect pitch and incredible accuracy. His tone was unique and instantly recognizable. He was also one of the first musicians to use vibrato on his instrument.

In addition to his work as a trumpeter, Armstrong was a gifted vocalist. He is credited with popularizing scat singing – a style of improvised vocalizing using nonsense syllables – with songs like “Heebie Jeebies” (1926) and “Skokiaan” (1954).

Armstrong’s influence reached beyond jazz music. He is considered one of the first African American entertainers to cross over into mainstream success. His good-natured personality endeared him to millions of fans around the world, and he helped break down racial barriers in the United States during the Jim Crow era.

Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington was one of the most important figures in jazz history. He was a composer, bandleader and pianist who created some of the genre’s most enduring songs. He also helped to break down racial barriers in the music industry.

Ellington was born Edward Kennedy Ellington in Washington, D.C., in 1899. His father was a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant and his mother was an African-American woman from Virginia. Ellington’s parents encouraged his musical talents, and he began playing the piano at an early age. He later took up the trumpet and trombone, but it was the piano that would become his primary instrument.

Ellington grew up listening to ragtime and New Orleans jazz, two popular styles of music at the time. He began playing professionally in 1918, when he joined a Washington, D.C., dance band called The Washingtonians. The group became quite popular in the city’s clubs and hotels, and even made a few recordings.

In 1923, Ellington and The Washingtonians made their first trip to New York City to play at Harlem’s Cotton Club. It was there that Ellington truly began to find his own voice as a musician. He wrote original compositions for his band that incorporated elements of both ragtime and New Orleans jazz. These songs would come to be known as “jungle music,” due to their primal rhythms and exotic melodies.

The Cotton Club proved to be a major turning point in both Ellington’s career and the history of jazz itself. His unique brand of music quickly caught on with audiences, both Black and White. His popularity continued to grow throughout the 1930s, as he toured extensively with his orchestra and made several groundbreaking recordings.

Ellington continued to be a major force in jazz until his death in 1974. His influence can still be heard in the work of many contemporary artists

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. He is considered one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time. Parker was a leading figure in the development of bebop, a style of jazz characterized by fast tempos, complex chord progressions, and improvised solos.

Parker’s innovations transformed jazz from a dance music to an art form that could be enjoyed by listeners. He influenced generations of musicians, including John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Herbie Hancock.

Miles Davis

Miles Davis was an American trumpeter, bandleader and composer who was one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the 20th century. He played on various styles of jazz, including bebop, hard bop and cool jazz. He is credited with helping to pioneer the birth of cool jazz and modal jazz, and his albums “Kind of Blue” (1959) and “Bitches Brew” (1970) are considered landmarks in the history of jazz.


In conclusion, there are many different people who have influenced the development of jazz music. from its beginnings in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While some of these influences were African American musicians who created the musical style, others were white musicians who popularized it and helped it to spread around the world. Today, jazz music is enjoyed by people of all cultures and backgrounds, and its popularity continues to grow.

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