Mas Que Nada
Joe Syrian on NPR Hawaiian Jazz Radio
Motor City Jazz Octet
About Our Music
The history of jazz music and its related forms is a close parallel to the history of America in the Twentieth Century, following the important social trends and issues of the era and we play it all.
A Century of Jazz Music
Jazz from the 1920's
The prosperity and social experimentation of the Roaring Twenties brought the first experiments in modern American music, often based around the bustling cities of the deep South. It is here that was born the distinctive sound of New Orleans Jazz and Blues, as well as Dixieland style.
Jazz from the 1930's
The economic difficulties and heightened nationalism of the Thirties saw some of the most distinctly American musicians of the century climb into the spotlight as the nation danced to the new sounds of Swing. Names such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie sounded on family radios every evening.
Jazz from the 1940's and 1950's
The duration and the aftermath of the Second World War brought the United States of America into power as a global identity, and our nation's pride was evident in the bold sounds of our music. It was in this era that the style that we consider Modern Jazz solidified, while the Big Bands that saw their birth in the previous decade grew to enormous fame under band leaders like Major Glenn Miller and featuring performers such as Billie Holiday. This era also saw Bebop and Latin Jazz styles come into widespread vogue.
Jazz from the 1960s and on
The expanding social freedoms of the Sixties saw great cross-influence between the styles of American music, and Blues, Jazz, Rock, Classical, Country, and other forms drew freely from each other and bred new sounds that now form the structure of modern popular music. Within recent decades, the varied sounds of World Music has been integrated into Jazz, making our music more cosmopolitan even as our nation recognizes the importance of awareness of our planet.