International Jazz Day takes place on April 31st. Jazz is a type of music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the United States with its focus being around blues and ragtime music. Jazz was first created on February 26th, 1917. The novelty song, "Livery Stable Blues by the Original Dixieland Jass Band" was the first-ever jazz recording song in history. Jazz appreciation month was originally created in 2001 by Dr. John Edward Hasse who is a curator at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in the United States to commemorate how impactful jazz music has been to society.
Many people use jazz appreciation month to coordinate musicians, educators, and fans to focus on the music. Billie Holiday is one of the most well-known jazz musicians of her time. She was born in 1915, grew up in Philadelphia, had no formal musical training, performed with Fletcher Henderson, sang at Harlem, and years later recorded her first singles. She wrote and performed "Strange Fruit", one of her most common songs due to its powerful and moving meaning and transformation into a poem.
Louis Armstrong is also one of the most famous jazz musicians of all time. He was born in 1901, grew up in New Orleans, sang in boy’s quartets, and played in marching bands in his youth. Later on, he joined King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band where he performed for many years until he decided to be a solo artist. He wrote and performed many songs we have all heard of including, "What a Wonderful World" which has been seen in many films throughout history such as Finding Dory.
Ultimately Jazz music has been absorbed by many common genres including rock, R&B, and Latin-styled tunes. One of the most famous songs in our current time influenced by jazz is "Start a Fire" by John Legend and "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody" by Fergie. Jazz music influences many generations, so much so, that many movie themes are surrounded by Jazz such as La La Land by Lionsgate and Soul by Disney.
Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit"
Louis Armstrong, "What A Wonderful World"
Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)"