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Jazz History

Poetry can be defined as poetry that demonstrates jazz-like rhythm or the feeling of improvisation. During the sass’s many poets began to experiment with the conventional forms of writing with rhythm which led to the invention of Jazz Poetry. Poetry and Jazz seemed to both evolve into each other which led to the merge that became known as “Jazz Poetry”. Jazz poetry has been an unorthodox style of writing since It was Invented In the sass’s, The reason It has been considered out of the mainstream is that it was invented by African American artists n the sass’s when segregation had not ended long ago.

There were still Jim Crower laws In effect when this evolution was occurring. There was also a Renaissance occurring with this evolution called the Harlem Renaissance. This time In American History could be described as “HOT NIGHTS and cool jazz…. Steamy sidewalks and fancy dressers… Songs of the soul and songs of the body… The lilt of gentle laughter and the penetrating wail of the blues… ” Harlem was the home of many African American poets and musicians which was the perfect breeding grounds for creating jazz poetry.

Harlem is a community in New York that lies in the northern half of the boroughs of Manhattan. Earliest poets were coined as Jazz poets there were not “True Jazz Poets”. The poets who only referred to jazz in their poems were called Jazz-Related Poets. Jazz poets would have to create a rhythm and imitates Jazz in its words and delivery. There were many different artists that had huge impacts on jazz poetry including one of the most famous; Louis Armstrong. It was said that Armstrong is the best Jazz musician to ever had lived. Louis Armstrong influenced many Jazz poets such as Mina LOL, and

Longs Hughes. Longs Hughes is considered the founder of the Jazz Poetry genre since no artist before him could merge Jazz and poetry together as he did. Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin Missouri. He began writing poetry in the eighth grade and was elected the class poet. He was encouraged by his father to pursue a more practical career and attended college for a short amount of time but continued to write poetry. Luckily for the artistic community he decided to drop out of his program of study and pursue a writing career.

His first poem published was also one of his cost famous and still is today and was entitled “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”. Many of his writings appeared in the NAACP magazines and other publications. One of Hughes favorite past-times became listening to blues, and Jazz while writing his poetry. This had a profound influence on his Blues”. He moved to Harlem in 1924, during the Harlem Renaissance. During this time he became very popular and his works all flourished. In 1925 he decided to move to Washington D. C. ND there he spent even more time in Jazz and blues clubs. He was quoted as saying “l tried to write the poems like the songs hey sang on seventh street…. These songs had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going” He died on May 22, 1967 of cancer. His home in Harlem was given landmark status by the New York Preservation Committee. Here is one of his Jazz poems: Negro Dancers Longs Hughes Me an’ ma baby’s Got two MO’ ways, Two MO’ ways to do De Charleston Dad, dad, Dad, dad, dad Soft light on the tables, Music gay, Brown-skin steppers In a cabaret.

White folks, laugh White folks, pray Two MO’ ways to do De Charleston 1926 Jazz Poetry embodied what society was like in the time that it was written. Jazz Poetry also prospered from the closing of the sea port in New Orleans, musicians were forced up the Mississippi to find work. Chicago and New York were most affected by this because they popular because of prohibition which resulted in more Jobs being created for Jazz musicians and other forms of entertainment which led to more involvement in the entertainment business.

Jazz poetry still remains today but has gone under many changes. It evolved even more in the sass’s when it passed through the beat generation. The beat generation was composed of mainly whites that turned jazz poetry from racial pride and individuality into spontaneity and freedom. Jazz poetry became seen as statements against society and the regular flow of life by “outsiders”. The Beat Generation started out as a very small group of people. It consisted of four men who met in upper-Manhattan in the mid ass’s.

They had a couple more followers Join before moving to San Francisco and had five more men Join their group. They all struggled very hard to get anything of theirs published. It was an awe inspiring experience to see how these men would keep each other from giving up. They finally caught a break when they had a famous poetry reading at the six gallery in San Francisco. After this first group of beat writers had been popularized another wave would sweep in. Here is a poem by a beat generations. ‘Rapid’ by Gary Snyder Lay down these words Before your mind like rocks. Laced solid, by hands In choice of place, set Before the body of the mind Solidity of bark, leaf or wall rapid of things: Cobble of milky way, straying planets, These poems, people, lost ponies with Dragging saddles and rocky sure-foot trails. The worlds like an endless four-dimensional Game of Go. Ants and pebbles In the thin loam, each rock a word a creek-washed stone Granite: ingrained with torment of fire and weight Crystal and sediment linked hot all change, in thoughts, As well as things.

This poem would be recited while some kind of musical interment would make a beat in the background. Bongos are a very popular instrument used when reciting poetry. In the sass’s and ass’s Jazz poetry was reinvented as a source of racial pride by Leroy Jones who changed his name to Impair Bark. Bark was born on October 7, 1934 in Newark New Jersey. He Joined the U. S. Air Force but was kicked out in 1954 for suspension that he was a communist. His commanding officer had found soviet writings and declared that he had broken his oath of duty.

He started working in a record warehouse which stemmed his interest for jazz. He came into contact with some members of the new beat generation which would later heavily influence his writings of poetry. Bark traces Jazz and the blues back to African Americans. After the death of Malcolm X he Harlem since he considered himself a cultural nationalist. Bark was arrested after he caught illegally carrying a weapon ND resisting arrest during a riot after Martin Luther King Jar. Had been assassinated. He then spent three years in Jail.

Bark received many awards and honors in his life and actually became a Professor. The last form of Jazz Poetry is the modern form, Modern Jazz poetry is lyrics incorporated by hip-hop and rap artists by the use of a beat. Rap is paralleled to Jazz poetry in the way that rap is improvised lyrics to a beat. This captures the spontaneous, improvised portion of Jazz poetry. Just like Jazz poetry, raps lyrics are focused on the social situation of the time and cultural issues. It is argued by many people that rap is not a viable comparison of poetry.

That it’s Just an overrated fad of the time. Hip -hop came into being in the early sass’s and became a large part of American culture in the ass’s. Hip-hop or rap consists of a rapper, or poet, and a DC, the person who creates a beat. To have a successful set of lyrics you must have a good beat and be able to master the use of literary devices such as assonance, alliteration, and rhyme. Hip-hop began in the Bronx in the inner-city by mostly African American youth. It is now a commercially popular music genre and is part of the American Mainstream.

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