Music of New Orleans

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A New Orleans brass band parade Jetsetters09StoogesBBcheeks.jpg
A New Orleans brass band parade

The music of New Orleans assumes various styles of music which have often borrowed from earlier traditions. New Orleans, Louisiana, is especially known for its strong association with jazz music, universally considered to be the birthplace of the genre. The earliest form was dixieland, which has sometimes been called traditional jazz, 'New Orleans', and 'New Orleans jazz'. However, the tradition of jazz in New Orleans has taken on various forms that have either branched out from original dixieland or taken entirely different paths altogether. New Orleans has also been a prominent center of funk, home to some of the earliest funk bands such as The Meters.

New Orleans Largest city in Louisiana

New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Louisiana. With an estimated population of 391,006 in 2018, it is the most populous city in Louisiana. A major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States.

Louisiana U.S. state in the United States

Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans.

Dixieland, sometimes referred to as hot jazz or traditional jazz, is a style of jazz based on the music that developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century.


Early 19th century

The African influence on New Orleans music can trace its roots at least back to Congo Square in New Orleans in 1835, when slaves would congregate there to play music and dance on Sundays. African music was played as well as local music, including that of local white composers, such as Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Along with European musical forms that were popular in the city, including the brass band traditions, the cultural mix laid the groundwork for the New Orleans musical art forms to come.

Congo Square United States historic place

Congo Square is an open space, now within Louis Armstrong Park, which is located in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, just across Rampart Street north of the French Quarter. The Tremé neighborhood is famous for its history of African American music.

Louis Moreau Gottschalk American musician and composer

Louis Moreau Gottschalk was an American composer and pianist, best known as a virtuoso performer of his own romantic piano works. He spent most of his working career outside of the United States.

Brass band musical ensemble generally consisting entirely of brass instruments

A brass band is a musical ensemble generally consisting entirely of brass instruments, most often with a percussion section. Ensembles that include brass and woodwind instruments can in certain traditions also be termed brass bands, but may more correctly termed military bands, concert bands, or "brass and reed" bands.

By 1838, the local paper—the daily Picayune —ran a scathing article complaining about the emergence of brass bands in the city, which it stated could be found on every corner. [1]


A caricature of an African-American band playing in New Orleans in 1890. New Orleans writer Al Rose has called this "The earliest known illustration of a jazz band". While the instrumentation of cornet or trumpet, trombone, clarinet, and drums is suggestive of the early jazz bands of some 15 years later, how close this music was to what would be known as "jazz" is speculative. 1890RobinsonsBandCropped.jpg
A caricature of an African-American band playing in New Orleans in 1890. New Orleans writer Al Rose has called this "The earliest known illustration of a jazz band". While the instrumentation of cornet or trumpet, trombone, clarinet, and drums is suggestive of the early jazz bands of some 15 years later, how close this music was to what would be known as "jazz" is speculative.

The term "jazz" (early on often spelled "jass") did not become popular until the mid and late 1910s, when New Orleans musicians first rose to prominence in other parts of the USA and the New Orleans style needed a new name to differentiate it from the nationally popular ragtime. Before then, the New Orleans style was frequently simply called "ragtime" (Sidney Bechet continued to call his music "ragtime" throughout his life), along with such local terms as "hot music" and "ratty music".

Sidney Bechet American jazz musician

Sidney Bechet was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer. He was one of the first important soloists in jazz, beating trumpeter Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by several months. His erratic temperament hampered his career, and not until the late 1940s did he earn wide acclaim.

The local New Orleans dance music style was already distinctive in the 19th century. When this style became what was later known as "jazz" remains a matter of debate and definition, although most New Orleans music historians believe what became known as New Orleans style jazz was the product of a series of developments, probably reaching its famous form no earlier than the 1890s and no later than the mid 1910s.

By the 1890s a man by the name of Poree hired a band led by cornetist Buddy Bolden, many of whose contemporaries as well as many jazz historians consider to be the first prominent jazz musician. The music was not called jazz at this time, consisting of marching band music with brass instruments and dancing. If anything, Bolden could be said to have been a blues player. The actual term "jazz" was first "jass", the etymology of which is still not entirely clear. The connotation is sexual in nature, as many of the early performers played in rough working class venues. Despite colorful stories of mid-20th century writers, the prostitution district known as Storyville was no more important in the development of the music than the city's other neighborhoods, but did play a role in exposing some out of town visitors to the style. Many instruments used were often acquired second-hand at pawn shops, including used military band instruments.

Buddy Bolden American cornetist and jazz pioneer

Charles Joseph "Buddy" Bolden was an African-American cornetist who was regarded by contemporaries as a key figure in the development of a New Orleans style of ragtime music, or "jass", which later came to be known as jazz.

Marching band company of instrumental musicians

A marching band is a group in which instrumental musicians perform while marching, often for entertainment or competition. Instrumentation typically includes brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. Most marching bands wear a uniform, often of a military style, that includes an associated organization's colors, name or symbol. Most high school marching bands, and some college marching bands, are accompanied by a color guard, a group of performers who add a visual interpretation to the music through the use of props, most often flags, rifles, and sabres.

Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, and spirituals. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes, usually thirds, fifths or sevenths flattened in pitch are also an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove.

The Creole people of New Orleans also contributed greatly to the evolution of the artform, though their own music became heavily influenced by the pioneering work of Bolden. New Orleans-born musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet and Jelly Roll Morton all recalled the influence Bolden had on the direction of the music of New Orleans (Armstrong himself had no memory of Bolden, but was told about him by his mentor King Oliver) and jazz itself. [3]

Louis Armstrong American jazz trumpeter, composer and singer

Louis Daniel Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, vocalist 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.

Jelly Roll Morton American ragtime and jazz pianist, bandleader and composer

Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe, known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, was an American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer who started his career in New Orleans, Louisiana.

King Oliver American jazz cornet player and bandleader

Joseph Nathan "King" Oliver was an American jazz cornet player and bandleader. He was particularly recognized for his playing style and his pioneering use of mutes in jazz. Also a notable composer, he wrote many tunes still played today, including "Dippermouth Blues", "Sweet Like This", "Canal Street Blues", and "Doctor Jazz". He was the mentor and teacher of Louis Armstrong. His influence was such that Armstrong claimed, "if it had not been for Joe Oliver, Jazz would not be what it is today."

Sicilian influence

New Orleans had experienced a large wave of migration from the Italian region of Sicily between the late 1800s and early 1900s. [4] [5] The Sicilian capital of Palermo had long held cotton and citrus fruit trade with New Orleans. [4] This resulted in the establishment of a direct shipping line between the two port cities which enabled a vast number of Sicilians to migrant to New Orleans, as well as other American cities. [4] As a result of this migration, much of New Orleans jazz was modeled from the music of Sicily. [5] [4] This was shown in the New Orleans group the Original Dixieland Jass Band. [4] Bandleader Nick LaRocca and drummer Tony Sbarbaro were both born to parents who were Sicilian migrants. [4] The band's "Livery Stable Blues" became the first jazz record ever issued. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

Cuban influence

Music of New Orleans
Music of New Orleans
Top: Tresillo rhythm; [14] [15] Bottom: Habanera rhythm [16]

African American music began incorporating Afro-Cuban musical motifs in the nineteenth century, when the habanera (Cuban contradanza) gained international popularity. The habanera was the first written music to be rhythmically based on an African motif. From the perspective of African American music, the habanera rhythm (also known as congo, [17] tango-congo, [18] or tango . [19] ) can be thought of as a combination of tresillo and the backbeat. [20]

Louis Moreau Gottschalk Louis Moreau Gottschalk - Brady-Handy.jpg
Louis Moreau Gottschalk

Musicians from Havana and New Orleans would take the twice-daily ferry between both cities to perform and not surprisingly, the habanera quickly took root in the musically fertile Crescent City. John Storm Roberts states that the musical genre habanera, "reached the U.S. 20 years before the first rag was published" (1999: 12). [21] The symphonic work La nuit des tropiques (lit. "Night of the Tropics") by New Orleans native Louis Moreau Gottschalk, was influenced by the composer's studies in Cuba. [22] Gottschalk used the tresillo variant cinquillo extensively. With Gottschalk, we see the beginning of serious treatment of Afro-Caribbean rhythmic elements in New World art music. For the more than quarter-century in which the cakewalk, ragtime, and proto-jazz were forming and developing, the habanera was a consistent part of African American popular music. [23] Whether tresillo was directly transplanted from Cuba, or if the habanera merely reinforced tresillo-like "rhythmic tendencies" already present in New Orleans music is probably impossible to determine. It is reasonable to assume that tresillo-based rhythms were performed in Congo Square by Caribbean slaves. There are examples of tresillo-like rhythms in a few African American folk musics such as the foot stomping patterns in ring shout and the post-Civil War drum and fife music. [24] Tresillo is also heard prominently in New Orleans second line music.

Jelly Roll Morton MortonBricktopRowCropMortonFace.jpg
Jelly Roll Morton

Early New Orleans jazz bands had habaneras in their repertoire and the tresillo/habanera figure was a rhythmic staple of jazz at the turn of the 20th century. Comparing the music of New Orleans with the music of Cuba, Wynton Marsalis observes that tresillo is the New Orleans "clave". [25] Although technically, the pattern is only half a clave, Marsalis makes the important point that the single-celled figure is the guide-pattern of New Orleans music. The New Orleans musician Jelly Roll Morton considered the tresillo/habanera (which he called the Spanish tinge) to be an essential ingredient of jazz. [26] The habanera rhythm and tresillo can be heard in his left hand on songs like "The Crave" (1910, recorded 1938). Morton stated, "Now in one of my earliest tunes, "New Orleans Blues", you can notice the Spanish tinge. In fact, if you can't manage to put tinges of Spanish in your tunes, you will never be able to get the right seasoning, I call it, for jazz." [27]

Although the exact origins of jazz syncopation may never be known, there's evidence that the habanera/tresillo rhythm was there at its conception. Buddy Bolden, the first known jazz musician, is credited with creating the big four, the first syncopated bass drum pattern to deviate from the standard on-the-beat march. [28] As the example below shows, [29] the second half of the big four pattern is the habanera rhythm.

Music of New Orleans

In Early Jazz; Its Roots and Musical Development, Gunther Schuller states: [30]

It is probably safe to say that by and large the simpler African rhythmic patterns survived in jazz ... because they could be adapted more readily to European rhythmic conceptions. Some survived, others were discarded as the Europeanization progressed. It may also account for the fact that patterns such as [tresillo have] ... remained one of the most useful and common syncopated patterns in jazz/

Second line

In the very early days of brass bands, in the 'nineties and even before, the music was mostly writtenI mean in the kind of band my father played in. As time went on, there was more improvising.

Edmond Hall [31]

The use of brass marching bands came long before jazz music through their use in the military, though in New Orleans many of the best-known musicians had their start in brass marching bands performing dirges as well as celebratory and upbeat tunes for New Orleans jazz funeral processions from the 1890s onward. The tradition drove onward with musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Henry "Red" Allen and King Oliver. The presence of marching bands lives on today in New Orleans, with musicians such as the Marsalis family doing some of their earliest work in such bands. [32]

Much of New Orleans music today owes its debt to the early marching bands, even those marching bands which predate the birth of jazz music. In the late 19th century marching bands would often march through the streets of the city in second line parades. Some of the earliest bands originated from the Tremé neighborhood, and the city gave birth to such bands as the Excelsior, Onward and Olympia brass bands. The Onward and Olympia bands each have sustained incarnations that continue performing to this day. Modern examples of the brass band tradition can be heard in the playing of groups like the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, or the Rebirth Brass Band led by trumpeter Kermit Ruffins. [33]

The history of the marching band in New Orleans is a rich one, with the various bands performing at virtually every major social event the city has to offer. They perform at funerals, picnics, carnivals and parades. The relationship between jazz bands and brass bands is one of co-influence. Jazz bands of this era began to go beyond the confines of the 6/8 time signature the marching bands utilized. Instead, New Orleans jazz bands began incorporating a style known as "ragging"; this technique implemented the influence of ragtime 2/4 meter and eventually led to improvisation. In turn, the early jazz bands of New Orleans influenced the playing of the marching bands, who in turn began to improvise themselves more often. Again, yet another indication that jazz music is symbolic of freedom. [34]


You must understand that there was always a bad feeling between the northern part of the country and the southern part. After the Civil War they still battle against each other, and to those boys everything was Dixie and Dixieland as far as they weres concerned. But to tell the facts, as far as we blacks were concerned it was New Orleans music — New Orleans, not Dixieland Jazz. Those boys, they made that up.

Paul Barnes referring to the Original Dixieland Band. [35]

The term dixieland was first coined by Dan Emmett in his song "Dixie's Land" in 1859. It was not a positive term for African-Americans, as its usage defined any area of the south where slaves had not yet received emancipation. Dixieland music can be defined in a number of ways, though its origin is to be found in New Orleans, present first in the music of King Oliver. It quickly spread north and became popularized along with the migration of southern blacks to areas like Chicago. Today the term is used in reference to the music, which provides a general description of any form of jazz that is derived from early New Orleans jazz. [36]

The term dixieland is generally not used very much by New Orleans-based musicians, for there is good evidence that the term was imposed on them. For instance, the first band to actually use the term in reference to the music in their name was the all-white Original Dixieland Band. This band played no small role in the coinage of the term dixieland in reference to jazz in New Orleans, though they were not the innovators of the music. The only true barrier this band broke was being the first to record New Orleans music, which happened in New York City of all places in 1917. Despite the criticism Paul Barnes made about them, he also said that they had a "first class band".

An early student of Dixieland was the young Louis Prima, as well as his older brother Leon, both of whom lived outside the French Quarter in a working-class neighborhood populated by Italian-American and African-American musicians. Into his early 20s, Louis Prima performed on trumpet and cornet throughout New Orleans before following in the path of his idol Armstrong, and moving North for career reasons, where he appeared at the Famous Door in New York City, eventually relocating to Las Vegas where, beginning in the mid-1950s, he regularly appeared with another New Orleans musician, saxophonist Sam Butera. [35]

Rhythm & blues and rock & roll

Dave Bartholomew in 1977 DaveBarth Cropped.jpg
Dave Bartholomew in 1977

A new style came out of New Orleans after World War II. Prominent musicians such as Fats Domino helped shape what was first widely known as "rhythm and blues", which was an important ancestor of rock and roll, if not the first form of the music. In addition to the local talent, early rockers from elsewhere recorded many of their early hits in New Orleans using bands of New Orleans musicians.

In 1949, New Orleans jazz musician, and Fats Domino producer Dave Bartholomew brought the tresillo directly from Cuban music into early R&B.

New Orleans producer-bandleader Dave Bartholomew first employed this figure (as a saxophone-section riff) on his own 1949 disc "Country Boy" and subsequently helped make it the most over-used rhythmic pattern in 1950's rock 'n' roll. On numerous recordings by Fats Domino, Little Richard and others, Bartholomew assigned this repeating three-note pattern not just to the string bass, but also to electric guitars and even baritone sax, making for a very heavy bottom. He recalls first hearing the figure – as a bass pattern on a Cuban disc

Palmer (1995). [37]

In a 1988 interview with Robert Palmer, Bartholomew revealed how he initially superimposed tresillo over swing rhythm.

I heard the bass playing that part on a 'rumba' record. On "Country Boy" I had my bass and drums playing a straight swing rhythm and wrote out that rumba bass part for the saxes to play on top of the swing rhythm. Later, especially after rock 'n' roll came along, I made the 'rumba' bass part heavier and heavier. I'd have the string bass, an electric guitar and a baritone all in unison

Palmer (1988). [38]

Bartholomew referred to the Cuban son by the misnomer rumba, a common practice of that time. On Bartholomew's 1949 tresillo-based "Oh Cubanas" we clearly hear an attempt to blend African American and Afro-Cuban music.


Pivotal in the emergence of New Orleans into the mainstream hip hop community was the establishment of No Limit Records (now New No Limit Records) and Cash Money Records. These labels produced dozens of albums by young New Orleans rappers beginning in the mid-1990s. Some seminal New Orleans artists from No Limit included Mystikal, Master P, Soulja Slim, C-Murder, and Silkk the Shocker. Cash Money likewise signed and released albums by several New Orleans artists including BG, Juvenile, Turk, Big Tymers, and Lil' Wayne. The city is also the birthplace of bounce music which is gaining popularity. Former Cash Money in-house producer Mannie Fresh is often credited for much of the popularity for Bounce outside of New Orleans. Drake, also signed to Cash Money recently collaborated with New Orleans Bounce producer Blaqnmild on his international hits "Nice For What" and "In My Feelings". Jay Electronica, signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation record label, has projected into the hip-hop scene.

Eastside New Orleans Rapper Currensy resides in New Orleans. Rappers Corner Boy P, Young Roddy, Trademark Da Skydiver, and Fiend are from New Orleans. Most of the Jet Life collective is from New Orleans or surrounding areas.

New Orleans is also known for a hip hop duo known as the $UICIDEBOY$, who are known for rapping about suicide, hence their name, and depression.

Heavy metal

New Orleans has an active metal scene which began to take real form in the late 1980s. [39] [40] [41] Bands such as Eyehategod, [40] Down, [42] Exhorder, [41] Crowbar, [43] Acid Bath, Soilent Green, [44] Goatwhore, [45] Kingdom of Sorrow, [46] Graveyard Rodeo and Superjoint Ritual [47] are either based in the city, or have a majority of their members hailing from the area. Artists such as Mike Williams, Jimmy Bower, Brian Patton, [40] Phil Anselmo, Kirk Windstein, Pepper Keenan, [42] Pat Bruders, Stanton Moore and Kyle Thomas are New Orleans residents. [48]

The city is known for the "Louisiana sound", which was pioneered by Exhorder, who was the first band to combine doom metal and up-tempo thrash metal. [41] As a result, New Orleans is often recognized as the place where sludge metal was born. [49] Several of these metal groups share a style which draws inspiration from Black Sabbath, Melvins, hardcore punk as well as Southern rock. [40] [42] [43] [44] There is still variance within the sounds of the scene, however. Eyehategod features very harsh vocals and guitar distortion; [50] [51] Down has a style closer to classic rock; [42] Crowbar's music has mostly slow tempos and a downtuned guitar sound; [43] and Soilent Green has a sound which is closer to grindcore. [44]

It's quite usual for a member of one of these bands to be part of another band from New Orleans or Louisiana. Collaborations by members of a band on another are also fairly common. In addition to being one of the founding members of Eyehategod, [40] Jimmy Bower is also a member of Down, [42] a member of Superjoint Ritual [47] and has worked several times with Crowbar. [43] Pepper Keenan, member of Corrosion of Conformity, is a member of Down [42] and also worked on Eyehategod's album Dopesick . [52] Kirk Windstein is a founding member of Crowbar [43] and a member of Kingdom of Sorrow [46] and was a member of Down. Phil Anselmo is a member of Down, [42] a member of Superjoint Ritual as well as various metal acts based in New Orleans; [47] he also has a hardcore punk side project along with Mike Williams of Eyehategod and Hank Williams III [40] named Arson Anthem. [53] Brian Patton is a member of Eyehategod [40] and Soilent Green. [44] L. Ben Falgoust II is the singer of Goatwhore [45] and Soilent Green. [44]

See also

Related Research Articles

Funk genre of music

Funk is a music genre that originated in African-American communities in the mid-1960s when African-American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and rhythm and blues (R&B). Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bass line played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer, often at slower tempos than other popular music. Like much of African-inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves that created a "hypnotic" and "danceable feel". Funk uses the same richly colored extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths and thirteenths.

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 seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then 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 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, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".

Rhythm and blues, commonly abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular. In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.

George Vital "Papa Jack" Laine was an American musician and a pioneering band leader in New Orleans in the years from the Spanish–American War to World War I. He was often credited for training many musicians who would later become successful in jazz music.

The music of Louisiana can be divided into three general regions: rural south Louisiana, home to Creole Zydeco and Old French, New Orleans, and north Louisiana. The region in and around Greater New Orleans has a unique musical heritage tied to Dixieland jazz, blues, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. The music of the northern portion of the state starting at Baton Rouge and reaching Shreveport has similarities to that of the rest of the US South.

Clave (rhythm) rhythmic pattern in Afro-Cuban music

The clave is a rhythmic pattern used as a tool for temporal organization in Afro-Cuban music. It is present in a variety of genres such as Abakuá music, rumba, conga, son, mambo, salsa, songo, timba and Afro-Cuban jazz. The five-stroke clave pattern represents the structural core of many Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Latin jazz is a genre of jazz with Latin American rhythms. The two main categories are Afro-Cuban jazz, rhythmically based on Cuban popular dance music, with a rhythm section employing ostinato patterns or a clave, and Afro-Brazilian jazz, which includes bossa nova and samba.

Crowbar (American band) American metal band with this name since 1991

Crowbar is an American sludge metal band formed in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1990. Through infusing a slow, low-keyed, brooding doom metal sound with the aggression of hardcore punk, they pioneered a style known as sludge metal alongside other bands of the New Orleans heavy metal scene such as Eyehategod, Soilent Green, Acid Bath, and Down.

Afro-Cuban jazz is the earliest form of Latin jazz. It mixes Afro-Cuban clave-based rhythms with jazz harmonies and techniques of improvisation. Afro-Cuban jazz emerged in the early 1940s with the Cuban musicians Mario Bauzá and Frank Grillo "Machito" in the band Machito and his Afro-Cubans in New York City. In 1947, the collaborations of bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and percussionist Chano Pozo brought Afro-Cuban rhythms and instruments, such as the tumbadora and the bongo, into the East Coast jazz scene. Early combinations of jazz with Cuban music, such as "Manteca" and "Mangó Mangüé", were commonly referred to as "Cubop" for Cuban bebop.

Contradanza is the Spanish and Spanish-American version of the contradanse, which was an internationally popular style of music and dance in the 18th century, derived from the English country dance and adopted at the court of France. Contradanza was brought to America and there took on folkloric forms that still exist in Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Panama and Ecuador.

Cinquillo Cuban/Caribbean rhythmic cell

A cinquillo is a typical Cuban/Caribbean rhythmic cell, used in the Cuban contradanza and the danzón. The figure is also a common bell pattern found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It consists of an eighth, a sixteenth, an eighth, a sixteenth, and an eighth note. Play  Placing this rhythm in a 2/4 measure produces a strongly syncopated character from the sustained note which replaces an articulated one on the first quarter of the second beat. Cinquillo is an embellishment of the more basic pattern known as tresillo. Cinquillo is shown twice below. The first one merely displays the note values. The second one is a so-called orthographic notation, which gives an impression of the syncopated character.

Spanish Tinge

The phrase Spanish tinge is a reference to an Afro-Latin rhythmic touch that spices up the more conventional 4
rhythms commonly used in jazz and pop music. The phrase is a quotation from Jelly Roll Morton. In his Library of Congress recordings, after referencing the influence of his own French Creole culture in his music, he noted the Spanish presence:

Then we had Spanish people there. I heard a lot of Spanish tunes. I tried to play them in correct tempo, but I personally didn't believe they were perfected in the tempos. Now take the habanera "La Paloma", which I transformed in New Orleans style. You leave the left hand just the same. The difference comes in the right hand — in the syncopation, which gives it an entirely different color that really changes the color from red to blue.

Now in one of my earliest tunes, "New Orleans Blues", you can notice the Spanish tinge. In fact, if you can't manage to put tinges of Spanish in your tunes, you will never be able to get the right seasoning, I call it, for jazz.

Jazz club type of club

A jazz club is a venue where the primary entertainment is the performance of live jazz music, although some jazz clubs primarily focus on the study and/or promotion of jazz-music. Jazz clubs are usually a type of nightclub or bar, which is licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. Jazz clubs were in large rooms in the eras of Orchestral jazz and big band jazz, when bands were large and often augmented by a string section. Large rooms were also more common in the Swing era, because at that time, jazz was popular as a dance music, so the dancers needed space to move. With the transition to 1940s-era styles like Bebop and later styles such as soul jazz, small combos of musicians such as quartets and trios were mostly used, and the music became more of a music to listen to, rather than a form of dance music. As a result, smaller clubs with small stages became practical.

Jazz drumming art of playing percussion, predominantly the drum set, in jazz styles

Jazz drumming is the art of playing percussion in jazz styles ranging from 1910s-style Dixieland jazz to 1970s-era jazz fusion and 1980s-era Latin jazz. The techniques and instrumentation of this type of performance have evolved over several periods, influenced by jazz at large and the individual drummers within it. Stylistically, this aspect of performance was shaped by its starting place, New Orleans, as well as numerous other regions of the world, including other parts of the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa.

In music, a cross-beat or cross-rhythm is a specific form of polyrhythm. The term cross rhythm was introduced in 1934 by the musicologist Arthur Morris Jones (1889–1980). It refers to when the rhythmic conflict found in polyrhythms is the basis of an entire musical piece.


A guajeo is a typical Cuban ostinato melody, most often consisting of arpeggiated chords in syncopated patterns. Some musicians only use the term guajeo for ostinato patterns played specifically by a tres, piano, an instrument of the violin family, or saxophones. Piano guajeos are one of the most recognizable elements of modern-day salsa. Piano guajeos are also known as montunos in North America, or tumbaos in the contemporary Cuban dance music timba.

Tresillo is a rhythmic pattern used in Latin American music. It is a more basic form of the rhythmic figure known as the habanera.

Outline of jazz Overview of and topical guide to jazz

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to jazz:


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  2. "Storyville, New Orleans" by Al Rose, University of Alabama Press, 1974
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