[ Login ]
lesson plan12345678

The Harlem Renaissance

II. Jazz during the Harlem Renaissance

A. Expression


The Harlem Renaissance was about giving a voice to the experiences of African Americans, and nothing gave expression to the African American experience better than jazz.

  1. Jazz was born out of the Black experience in America, basically fusing African and European musical traditions.
  2. Jazz evolved from slave work songs, spirituals (religious Black American folk songs), blues, brass band music, and ragtime.
  3. Jazz, more than any other music, has been intimately linked with legal and social equality for all, particularly African Americans. 

B. Harlem & Big Bands


Harlem was the place to hear the best big bands including those led by:

  1. Fletcher Henderson
  2. Duke Ellington
  3. Cab Calloway
  4. Benny Goodman

C. Radio Broadcasts


Some of the very first coast-to-coast radio broadcasts were from Harlem ballrooms.

  1. Listeners all over America heard the music of Duke Ellington's Orchestra as it was broadcast live from The Cotton Club, the most famous of Harlem ballrooms throughout the 1920s and '30s.
  2. Live radio broadcasts from the Savoy ballroom brought big band swing into living rooms throughout the United States. 

the Herbie Hancock institute of jazz
home overview lesson plans jazz resources what's new jazz in america