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Jazz. “Celebration of life… it deals with it…” Tanya Shegog The Grange P-12 College/ Swing Patrol. Outline of this Session. Links to AusVELS and VCE Unit 1 20 th Century History Overview of the era 1918-1945 Jazz Age – 1918-1929 Great Depression – 1929- 1935 Swing Era/WWII – 1935-1945
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Jazz “Celebration of life… it deals with it…” Tanya Shegog The Grange P-12 College/ Swing Patrol
Outline of this Session • Links to AusVELS and VCE Unit 1 20th Century History • Overview of the era 1918-1945 • Jazz Age – 1918-1929 • Great Depression – 1929- 1935 • Swing Era/WWII – 1935-1945 • Finally…we dance!
Ausvels link – year 10 • Covered in the Overview • “Overview content for the Modern World and Australia includes the following: the inter-war levels between World War I and World War II, including the Treaty of Versailles, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, continuing efforts post-World War II to achieve lasting peace and security in the world, including Australia’s involvement in UN peacekeeping , the major movements for rights and freedom in the world and the achievement of independence by former colonies”
VCE Study Design – unit 1 20th Century history • Area of Study 3 – Cultural Expression • “Jazz, whose roots lay in the slave heritage of Afro-Americans, became the new popular music of the century. Movements, groups and individuals who worked in the creative arts reflected, promoted and resisted the political, economic and social changes of their times. In some political and social settings they were subject to persecution and censorship, in others their works provided a platform for the propagation of independent views.”
Outcome 3 • Key knowledge • The work of a cultural or artistic movement, group or individual in the first half of the twentieth century; for example, actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, the Surrealists, the Bauhaus group, Josephine Baker • Responses to, or the effect of, the work of the movement, group or individual; for example, was it celebrated, reviled, censored, universally popular or known only to the avant-garde? • The relationship between cultural expression and political, social or economic developments of the period.
Overview 1918-45 - Keywords • Time of great extremes • Start with the aftermath and recovery of WWI • Boom of the ‘Roaring 20s’ • Prosperity, new ideas, renaissance, universal suffrage in the U.S, excess, Prohibition, Gangsters, immorality, artistic and sexual liberation , flappers • Trough of the Great Depression • Poverty, unemployment, improvisation, survival, segregation, integration, swing • Unity and Patriotism/Fear and Pain of WWII • Energy, Adventure, Strength,
History of Jazz Music • Origins of the word are contested – ‘Jass’ of ‘Jazz’ possibly the term for sexual activity. • African-American music style, rooting in the slaves of the South – Mainly New Orleans – mix of class (White, Creole and Black) • Incorporates the styles of Blues, Ragtime, Gospel/Spiritual, Minstrel/Vaudeville • Instruments that are characteristic – Brass (military trumpets left over from Civil War/WWI), Banjo, Drums and later, Piano (to cross the class barrier)
The Roaring Twenties (US) • Period of economic, social and political boom and freedom • Key events of 1920 – Prohibition Act and Universal Suffrage in US • Also, stock market boom – financial security and prosperity • Definitely in the throes of Jim Crow - Segregation • All of these factors that contribute to the period of excess, immorality and freedom that the 20s are known for – most characterised by the Flapper and Gangster
F. Scott Fitzgerald says… • “It was an age of miracles, it was an age of art, it was an age of excess, and an age of satire. We were the most powerful nation. Who could tell us any longer what was fashionable and what was fun scarcely had the citizens of the Republic caught their breathe when wildest of all generations those that were adolescents during the confusion of the war brusquely shouldered them out of the way and danced into the limelight. It was a whole Race gone hedonistic, deciding on pleasure. The Jazz age now raced along on its own power, served by great Filling stations full of money.”
The Flapper • Women with hair cut short, short dresses • Drink alcohol and smoke in Speakeasies (secret illegal booze halls) • Sexually liberated • In a word – immoral • BUT – represented the new age of freedom brought about by the new ability to vote in US elections
Gangsters (kids like this one…) • Robin Hood status – heroes to some, criminals by law • Opportunists, entrepreneurs • Made a fortune by bootlegging alcohol and cocaine mainly • Cut throat, corrupt, self-serving, murderous • For reference – Boardwalk Empire, The Untouchables etc.
Harlem Renaissance • Time of cultural, social and artistic explosion in Harlem. • Many came to Harlem from the South and the oppressive caste system • Nurtured artists, poets, writers, scholars and musicians, most with an African-American agenda • Harlem was the place that did not adhere to Jim Crow – racial segregation, particular in Jazz clubs • “While it may have contributed to a certain relaxation of racial attitudes among young whites, perhaps its greatest impact was to reinforce race pride among blacks.” Richard Wormser
The Music • 1920’s is what is referred to as the ‘Golden Age; • Influential artists - King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, and Duke Ellington • Jazz music influenced all aspects of society. Jazz poetry, fashion, and industry were effected by the "basement" music that took the United States by storm. • Became mainstream – popular and iconic American music genre
What the Music Did… • United the races – Ballrooms of New York – Cotton Club, Apollo Theatre, Roseland and most important – The Savoy Ballroom • HOWEVER… Despite the overwhelming knowledge of Jazz being an African-American genre, it was still appropriated and claimed by the White Americans. This caused tension • Gave some kids from the poorest homes in Harlem, Chicago and New Orleans a life – Case Study: Louis Armstrong • It also pushed some artists out to Paris, the European epicentre for Jazz – Case Study – Josephine Baker
Dance – Norma Miller and the Savoy Ballroom • http://www.youtube.com/user/visionaryproject/search?query=norma+miller • Introduction and significance of the Savoy + Other primary sources
Louis Armstrong • Cornet and Trumpet player • Born in the worst area of New Orleans, known as the ‘Battlefield’ • Suffered extreme poverty, mother resorted to prostitution and he often starved • Served a few stints in ‘Home for Colored Waifs’ for delinquency, including a long term stay for shooting a pistol on NYE • Wore a Star of David his whole life in honour of the generosity of the Karnofsky family, a Russian-Jewish family he worked for and treated as family • Was influenced by the music of the red light district dance halls • Played the riverboats of New Orleans • Big break came when he joined Joe ‘King’ Oliver’s band
Josephine Baker • La Revue Negre star in Paris – Singer/Dancer/ Comedienne • “Black Venus” French critics • Famous for walking a Cheetah down the Champ d’Elysses • Paris became fascinated with all things African – “primitive, savage, exotic” • Originally from St. Louis, but could never find fame • Later, became advocate of African-American in the Civil Rights Movement
The Dance • Black Bottom and Cakewalk morphed into the Charleston! • Charleston hits its peak in 1927 • Danced in a couple or solo • Other dances popular in the 20s include the Shimmy, Turkey Trot, Possum (and other animal-style dances) and Peabody • Done by all races - “We watch them in their epidemic Negroidism, the Charleston…this interest is an active and participating interest…maybe these Nordics at last are learning to speak our language…” Rudolph Fisher, The American Mercury • Also the era of Ballroom – Tango, Foxtrot and Quickstep became very popular • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s58iTzznkp0 The masters – Al Minns & Leon James
Roaring 20s in Oz • The music, dance, economic boom and party lifestyle did hit our shores • However, the ‘authentic Jazz’ from the US was not heard much, as British music took precedence • Australia did produce some Jazz of its own • Did not have prohibition, but still had sly grog, cocaine sellers and speakeasies (Underbelly: Razor & Squizzy) • Australia’s fascination and love for Jazz continues today.
Great Depression/Swing Era 1929-1935 • The Stock Market crash of 1929 signified the end of the celebrated Jazz Age • ¼ all men, 1 in 6 Black men unemployed • Men from the South flocked North, overcrowding places like Harlem • Phonograph records burnt to keep warm and most record companies went out of business • Record player production halted, but radio sales went up • Jazz “called upon again to lift the spirits of a frightened nation”
Saxophonist Jerry Jerome • “I said, "Harry, why do, where do people get the money to come hear us?" 'Cause we, you know we had people come hear us. He says, "You know, Jer, they save their pennies for the weekend so they can get ... some beer and go out and pay whatever it costs to go to a dance with their wives or girlfriends, have a ball, forget about their trouble and then ... after it's all over, start all over again, get that money back.”
Music • Jazz started to develop into Big Band Swing music • Beginning of the ‘Swing Era’ • Influential artists – Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Webb • Tenor Sax became most identified instrument above the swing orchestras • The upcoming artists of the 20s were now massive Jazz stars • Brought joy to otherwise dismal lives • Harlem was at its peak at the Jazz centre of America • Sing SingSingby Benny Goodman Orchestra 1938 – Most famous song of the Swing Era
Dance • Birth of the Lindy Hop – named after Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic • Savoy Ballroom is open and swinging every night of the week and cheap (50c weekdays, 75c Saturday) • Savoy and other ballrooms gave the people a respite • Birth of the ‘air-step’ or aerial by Whitey’s Lindy Hopper dancer Frankie Manning • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsNltZkaVPM Air Step • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RZK-LyksG4 Spirit Moves documentary from 1950
WWII Years – 1935-45US & Aus • Just as the Depression lifts, another calamity occurs • Australia and the US fight in two vastly different theatres of war – Europe and the Pacific • However, this allowed travel and communication of ideas, including music and dance • Nightly blackouts, higher taxes, curfews and the draft greatly impact on the Jazz/dancehall scene
Jazz & the Third Reich • Jazz had taken Germany by storm during the 1930s • Groups such as the Swingjugend (Swing Youth) developed into an anti-fascist protest group • Rejection of Nazi militarism, uniformity and ideology – restricted personal freedom • Jazz stood for freedom of expression, non-conformism, internationalism • “Art of the Sub-Human’ – Joseph Goebbels • Who started radio swing band that broadcast popular American swing tunes with anti-Semitic lyrics
Making Woopie (German version 1942) • Another war, another profit, another Jewish business trick,Another season, another reason for makin' whoopee!We throw our German names away,We are the kikes of USA.You are the goys, folks,We are the boys, folks —We're makin' whoopee!
Music • Benny Goodman & Artie Shaw – Jewish, Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker African-American • Celebrated for their differences • "Bandsmen today are not just jazz musicians," said Down Beat, "they are soldiers of music." • Popular Glenn Miller disappears during a mission, his music (In the Mood) becomes synonymous with WWII • BUT… it all starts and ends with the Savoy… • Savoy Ballroom was locked and closed, beginning the segregation of Harlem
Dance • By this stage, the Lindy Hop was the American national dance and became an international export • The refuelling of the passion for swing music and the energetic dance style (especially the aerials) spread throughout the world • This photo shows American G.Is dancing with Australian girls in Sydney on Victory Day
Classroom Activities • Students can compose a 12 bar blues • Case Study of a major Jazz Artist • See/Think/Wonder for visual sources • Doodling – Play jazz/swing/blues piece and students draw what it makes them think of • Role Play – African-American performer at an all-white ballroom • Of course…you can dance!
Resources • http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/history_of_jazz.htm • http://www.jazzinaustralia.org.au/history.html • http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_harlem.html • http://www.pbs.org/jazz/ • PBS Ken Burns ‘Jazz’ documentary series • Spirit Moves - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RZK-LyksG4
Now we dance…Stompin’ at the Savoy – Benny Goodman • Basic 20s Charleston • Mamie Taps • Black Bottom • Shouts • Truckin’ • Crazy Legs • Itches