/themes/arts-resources-jazz-blues

Jazz & Blues Resources

Foot thumping rhythms, crooning voices, soulful melodies – jazz is a music with a history as rich as its sound. Follow the great migration that lead African Americans to Harlem, meet jazz icons such as Bessie Smith and Charlie Parker, and stop by the Cotton Club and Apollo Theater on a journey through the past of this American art form.

Grades 3-4 Lesson
In this lesson, students will learn about the migration of African Americans to Harlem
Grades 3-4 Lesson
Students will explore basic jazz dance movements, and will create a cinquain poem inspired by jazz music
Grades 9-12 Lesson
Students research contemporary songs (alternative, country, metal, pop, rap, and rock music) to study current social issues
Grades 3-4 Lesson
Students will learn to identify musical styles and musicians associated with Harlem, focusing on jazz
Grades 9-12 Lesson
Students will listen to and analyze jazz music in this lesson
Grades 6-8 Lesson
Learn about the history, key players and musical qualities of the blues
Field Guide
Everything you need to know before you go to an arts event in a club setting
Article
How to hear Bessie Smith “sing” in Romare Bearden’s art
Interactive
Explore the themes and art that emerged during the Harlem Renaissance
Flash Interactive
Take part in this in-depth exploration of one of America's richest musical forms, the jazz movement
Audio Series
Out of the hardships of Black Americans at the turn of the 20th century came the blues, a music that helped ease their suffering
Audio Series
Celebrate the history and style of Blue Note Records on its 75th anniversary
Audio Series
The music of the Gulf Coast provides a microcosm of the cultural diversity and richness of the United States
Audio Series
Jazz musicians Billy Taylor and Frank Wess lead you through their hometown's music scene in this six-part audio series
Audio Series
This series explores why Swing was the most popular dance music in America and how it is still alive today
Video Series
When it comes to the ongoing experiment that is modern jazz, there have been few cooler laboratories than Blue Note Records
Video Series
Join Jason Moran as he explains the basics of Jazz music and how the art form works
Video
The Jazz Ahead program brings emerging jazz artists together with experienced instructors to polish their skills
Video
Palestinian and Moroccan musicians perform on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage
Video
Reginald Policard and Friends perform in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Haitian Revolution
Website
In celebration of their 75th anniversary, explore the music, history and impact of this important cultural resource
Website
This interactive timeline follows the development of this great American art form. Divided by decade, the timeline highlights events that helped shape jazz and illustrates the styles of each period through music and images.
This Day in the Arts
January 16, 1938: The first jazz concert is performed at Carnegie Hall
This Day in the Arts
March 08, 1892: Mississippi John Hurt is born in Teoc, Mississippi
This Day in the Arts
April 04, 1915: Muddy Waters is born in Jug’s Corner, Mississippi
This Day in the Arts
April 07, 1915: Billie Holiday is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This Day in the Arts
April 25, 1918: Ella Fitzgerald is born in Newport News, Virginia
This Day in the Arts
April 26, 1886: Ma Rainey is born in Columbus, Georgia
This Day in the Arts
April 29, 1899: Duke Ellington is born in Washington, D.C.
This Day in the Arts
May 17, 1846: Adolphe Sax patents the saxophone
This Day in the Arts
July 08, 1922: Louis Armstrong moves to Chicago, Illinois to pursue music
This Day in the Arts
August 04, 1901: Louis Armstrong is born in New Orleans, Louisiana
This Day in the Arts
August 08, 1907: Benny Carter is born in Harlem, New York
This Day in the Arts
August 21, 1906: William “Count” Basie is born in Red Bank, New Jersey
This Day in the Arts
August 29, 1920: Charlie Parker is born in Kansas City, Kansas
This Day in the Arts
September 16, 1925: B.B. King is born in Itta Bena, Mississippi
This Day in the Arts
November 16, 1873: W.C. Handy is born in Florence, Alabama
This Day in the Arts
November 27, 1936: Robert Johnson records “Cross Road Blues”
This Day in the Arts
December 11, 1916: Pérez Prado is born in Mantanzas, Cuba
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