The Mississippi River and It's Role in the Development of Jazz
Jazz is synonymous with the Mississippi River. Associated with both the people of the river and the river itself, Jazz in fact owes its very existence to the Mighty Mississippi River, the sorrow it has caused, and the culture which lives the river every day.
Jazz was born at the end of the 19th century in New Orleans. Several theories exist as to why and how that birth occurred and the reader is invited to use the links section of this page to synthesize their own theory. However this web page will attempt to demonstrate why Jazz could have only been created in New Orleans on the banks of the Mississippi River.
There are five main reasons why Jazz was born in New Orleans.
- New Orleans was a cosmopolitan city
- New Orleans was a center of the slave trade
- New Orleans contained a large Creole population
- New Orleans was a melting pot of musical styles
- The Civil War, Reconstruction and Jim Crow
Each of these reasons combine to make New Orleans the musical city that it is and more importantly the birthplace of Jazz.
When all of these factors combined it was not long until Jazz was born. The birth of Jazz is explained in greater detail here.
The Mississippi River, the Mighty Mississippi, Ol' Man River, whatever name you would like to call it was the single most important factor in the birth of Jazz. Because of the river's geography, culture, economical importance, and all of the people who depended upon it to survive, the Mississippi gave birth to Jazz. Without the river, there would be no Jazz.
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This page was created by Stephen Miles
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