Jazz got its start about a hundred years ago and quickly became America's national musical style, characterized by improvisation and a "swinging" rhythm.
It defined the 1920s high-living culture, a.k.a. "The Jazz Age," saw the country through a Depression and World War 2, spurred thoughtful innovation in the 1950s and 1960s, and blended with rock music and other styles after that.
During this month, special events around the country help spread awareness of this ever-evolving yet classic genre. The Music Collection has books, scores, and recordings, and the Educational Resources collection has DVDs of live performances. Click the links below to investigate library holdings.
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For an overview, listen to Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology (Compact Disc 20660)
You can search by era using the Media Finder for Music (Other than Classical). Simply select jazz and pull-down for the decade: