History of Jazz – … – 1899

Jazz – Timeline: … – 1899


Developments in Jazz

Historical Events

  • The first Africans are sold into slavery in America
  • New Orleans city council establishes „Congo Square“ as an official site for slave music and dance
  • Harvard Law School is founded.
  • Mississippi becomes a state.
  • James Monroe is elected president
1865 …
  • Ragtime composer and pianist Scott Joplin is born in Texarkana, TX on November 24, 1868.
  • Slavery is abolished in the U.S. by the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • The handcranked phonograph is demonstrated by Thomas Edison on November 29, 1877. The phonograph will eventually allow the spread of popular music.
1880 …
  • Pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton (Ferdinand La Menthe) is born in Gulfport, LA. on September 20, 1885. Jelly Roll learns harmonica at age 5 and is proficient on guitar at age 7.
  • Blues singer Ma Rainey (Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett) is born on April 26, 1886 in Columbus, Ga.
  • Pianist Tommy Turpin writes Harlem Rag, the first known ragtime composition
  • Stride piano player Willie „The Lion“ Smith is born in 1893.
  • Stride piano great James P. Johnson is born on February 1, 1891 in New Brunswick, N.J.
  • Blues singer Mamie Smith (believed to be the first black to make a record) is born on September 16, 1890 in Cincinnati, OH.
  • First use of the word Ragtime appears in the song title „Ma Ragtime Baby“ by Fred Stone in 1893
  • Blues singer Bessie Smith is born on April 15, 1894 in Chattanooga, TN.
  • Band leader Benny Moten is born on November, 13, 1894 in Kansas City, MO.
  • Boogie Woogie piano player Jimmy Yancey is born in 1894.
  • The Homestead Strike, one of the most serious labor disputes in U.S. history occurred in Pittsburgh.
  • General Electric Company is founded
  • Pianist Scott Joplin publishes his first two rags.
  • Cornetist Buddy Bolden forms his band
  • Stride piano player Luckyeth „Lucky“ Roberts is born on August 7, 1895 in Philadelphia, PA.
  • Clarinetist Jimmie Noone born in New Orleans, LA.
  • Cinema is born
  • Thomas Edison invents the first motor-driven phonograph. Phonographs are improving but are still a long way away from being commercial.
  • Pioneer Boogie piano player Lloyd Glenn born in Texas in 1896.
  • Racial segregation is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court, Plessy vs. Ferguson establishes the „separate but equal“ concept that will allow segregation and „Jim Crow“ to flourish.
  • Radio technology is introduced
  • The first piano rags appear in print.
  • Ragtime grows in popularity
  • Buddy Bolden organizes the first band to play the instrumental Blues (the fore-runner of Jazz). The band’s repertoire consists of Polkas, Quadrilles, Ragtime and Blues.
  • Storyville (the famed red light district of New Orleans) opens. It was named after New Orleans alderman Sidney Story.
  • The Ragtime craze is at full tilt.
  • Soprano saxophone and clarinet virtuoso Sidney Bechet born in New Orleans on May 14.
  • Stride piano great Willie „The Lion“ Smith born in Goshen, NY on November 23.
  • First subway in the U.S. created in Boston.
  • William McKinney is elected President
  • Scat singer Leo Watson born in Kansas City, MO on February 27.
  • The U.S. goes to war with Spain
  • Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag is published and sells over 100,000 copies.
  • Piano player, band leader and Jazz composer Edward Kennedy „Duke“ Ellington is born on April 29 in Washington, D.C. to a moderately well-to-do butler/navy blueprint man.
  • Thomas E. „Georgia Tom“ Dorsey is born in Georgia.
  • Felix Hoffman patents Aspirin.
  • Spanish rule ends in Cuba