Jazz was born in the early 20th century in New Orleans, a bustling commercial center located at the mouth of the Mississippi River on the Gulf of Mexico, at the confluence of extremely diverse cultures such as French, Spanish, Caribbean, Anglo-Saxon, and German, which fused with the African traditions of creoles and recently emancipated slaves. In those times, it was customary for parades and funeral processions to be accompanied by brass bands. On the way to the cemetery, the musicians played funeral music, but on the way back they adopted a unique swing rhythm that over time became an important element in jazz. Later, bands began to play at dance events, becoming a true fashion of the times. Jazz could frequently be heard in dance halls, gambling dens, and brothels in the red-light districts, known as Storyville, where jazz was born and developed in New Orleans. The New Orleans jazz style was established by cornetist Charles „Buddy” Bolden (1868-1931) and his ragtime band. Collective improvisation, a kind of jazz polyphony, is a central element of this style of jazz. New Orleans jazz was created by African Americans, who were always at the forefront of all jazz innovations. Ferdinand „Jelly Roll” Morton (1890-1941), the first jazz pianist and composer, Joseph Oliver (1885-1938), known as the „King of Jazz,” and the great Louis Armstrong were all products of New Orleans jazz.
I never thought that the music called «jazz» was ever meant to reach just a small group of people, or become a museum thing locked under glass like all the other dead things that were once considered artistic. – Miles Davis