jazz-998270_960_720 Chicago’s Jazz Culture - Express the Unexpressed

Music is a philosophy of life! It is a mode to express those emotions that are left unexpressed. Music has no language, but when chords are played, rhythm is created. Every culture and era has its form of music. The sky of music is infinite! It is God! It is peace!

The journey of music started from prehistoric times, and it is still continuing! The part of the journey that will be our subject of discussion today is Chicago’s Jazz Music Culture.

What is Jazz Music?

The art of improvisation and reaching people with spontaneous music is what Jazz is all about.

Jazz music was born in the United Sates. It is truly an American art form and an international phenomenon. Jazz music is a product of the strong collaboration of cultures and a universal language of forbearance and freedom. It has a rich artistic heritage.Jazz is a kind of music that involves a creative process of creation and is not just created by choosing a tune. First, it is an idea that takes birth in mind, next, stimulated by an individual’s passion and then, willed next in playing music. Jazz music is believed to be a language, sometimes intimate, often boisterous, but always covered with experience and life intensely lived.

Jazz in Chicago Style

The 1920’s was the Jazz age. It was when jazz music and dance form became famous, chiefly in the United States. It originated in New Orleans as a fusion of African and European music. This music played a substantial role in wider cultural changes during the era, and also had its impact on pop culture that continued long afterwards.

king-oliver-300x300 Chicago’s Jazz Culture - Express the Unexpressed
King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. One of the most popular jazz band in the 20’s. The band, left New Orleans for Chicago, Illinois in early 1918.

A considerable part of jazz music’s history can also be traced back to Chicago. All through the 20th century, Chicago provided great opportunities to musicians. The city played a prominent role in the performance, recording, and artistic fruition of jazz music. Chicago city’s fast sprouting manufacturing, railroad, meatpacking and various other industries earned a great amount of wealth and an ebullient culture for which jazz became the music.

The Life of Jazz in Chicago

In the twentieth century, Six million African Americans migrated from the southern states to the East, West and Midwest, which turned out to be known as the Great Migration. Chicago’s prosperous manufacturing, railroad and meatpacking industries attracted and influenced this relocation.

This transfer became the turning point for jazz music in Chicago. It expanded various popular music styles and introduced jazz to the Chicago city and the rest of the nation. Primarily, jazz music was played in small local clubs on the south side of the city.

The style of jazz music played in Chicago was a blend of both the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans “Dixieland” style with music inventors, such as King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong.

Maybe the Chicago music was a blend, as mentioned above, but some diverse facets of song structure and rhythm, such as heavy string bass and guitar, longer solos and quick tempos made Chicago’s music a separate and special branch of music in the 1920s. This way, the foundation for swing music was set. After World War II, jazz music advanced throughout many decades, but it was followed by a drop in popularity and admiration of jazz in Chicago. With this decline, New York City became the new epicentre of jazz music.

Till date, the city of Chicago has maintained its rich cultural history of jazz music. The music is actively prevalent across Chicago in nightclubs, festivals and local talent. Green Mill in Chicago’s North Side Uptown is a legendary club that has experienced all the great works in this genre of music.

To preserve the culture, the Chicago city hosts an annual Chicago Jazz Festival over Labor Day weekend.