What do you know about jazz? According to Dictionary.com, it's a style of music that originated in New Orleans at the beginning of the 20th century. This style is "generally marked by intricate, propulsive rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, improvisatory, virtuosic solos, melodic freedom, and a harmonic idiom ranging from simple diatonicism through chromaticism to atonality."
If you're starting at the beginning, there are some names you should become familiar with as they are known as essential within the jazz world. Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Chet Baker, and Sonny Rollins are just a few of the names to become familiar with. But men don't get all the credit! Some notable female jazz artists are: Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Etta James, Diana Krall, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Here are some movies that will also help in your jazz education.
This April also marks what would be the 100th birthday of Ella Fitzgerald. Here are some titles to look through to learn more about the First Lady of Song.
Skit-scat Raggedy Cat
So, turn your volume up, turn the lights down, and listen to some of the most beautiful music to ever be created. Or pick up a book and have your jazz playing in the background to get you in the mood to learn about these masters of sound.