National Treasure: Jazz, America’s Musical Melting Pot (via Parade)

“Jazz came to life in the one country on the planet where different cultures were encouraged to mix and form hybrids,” says Ted Gioia, author of The History of Jazz (Oxford University Press).

Jazz is a melting pot of musical traditions, including blues, marches, spirituals, popular songs, dance music and military music. You can find jazz in the “call-and-response” work songs slaves created to tell stories, and in the musical traditions of the many immigrants who poured into the U.S. in the 1800s from Europe.

“More than any other kind of music, jazz has an ability to digest other performance styles, so it’s perfectly suited to thrive in the U.S. where so many musical cultures intermixed,” Gioia says.

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