¿Cuánto sabes sobre la música Jazz? Aquí dejamos una breve historia de esa gran tradición musical… ¡en inglés, por supuesto! Y si quieres escuchar un poco de jazz en directo, junto con una buena dosis de comedia en inglés, ¿por qué no te vienes al estreno el próximo 10 de noviembre a las 16.30h en el teatro Infanta Isabel de Madrid? ¡Pincha este enlace para reservar tus entradas!
Next Saturday, 10th November, Face 2 Face opens a new season of classics for the big stage with the return of ‘Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. The play is set in New York in the 1940s, in the golden age of Jazz. In our own particular version of this well-known story by the author Robert Louis Stevenson, the action takes place in a Jazz Club in a dangerous neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. One night, the shy scientist Dr. Jekyll meets a beautiful jazz singer and he falls madly in love with her. Feeling that this stunning woman is out of his league, he decides to try out a formula which he is developing in order to overcome his low self-esteem. And thus he turns in to his alter ego, the brilliant musician Mr. Hyde. He plays the saxophone and improvises with the beautiful jazz singer Anita Goodman, managing to impress her and seduce her. But the side-effects of the formula on Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’s split personality will be truly terrifying…
What do you know about Jazz music? Here is a brief history of this great musical tradition. And if you would like to hear some live jazz, along with a large dose of comedy in English, why not come to the opening of the show next Sunday, 10th of November at 4.30pm in the Infanta Isabel theatre? Click on the following link to reserve tickets!
What is Jazz?
Jazz is a style of music which evolved when members of poor international communities moved to American cities for the first time. These new immigrants needed a repertoire of songs to suit their lifestyle, for entertainment and to be able to express themselves. They brought influences from around the world which fused to form what we now know as jazz music.
Improvisation plays an important role in jazz. During most performances, players play solos which they make up on the spot, which requires considerable skill. Whilst jazz music is tremendously varied, it is characteristically rhythmic, has a forward momentum called ‘swing’ and uses ‘bent’ or ‘blue’ notes. You can often hear call-and- response patterns in jazz, in which one instrument, voice or section of the band answers another. Jazz can express many different emotions, from pain and anger to joy and playfulness. In jazz you may hear a cry for freedom, for this music has been a powerful voice for people suffering from unfair treatment because of the colour of their skin or repression because they lived in a country run by a cruel dictator.
The Nature of Jazz
Jazz musicians place a high value on finding their own sound and style, and that means that, for example, the trumpeter Miles Davis sounds very different from the trumpeter Louis Armstrong. Jazz musicians like to play each song in their own style, so you may listen to a dozen different jazz recordings of the same song, but each will sound different. The musicians’ playing styles make each version different, as do the improvised solos. Jazz is about making something familiar – a familiar song – into something fresh, and about making something shared – a tune that everybody knows – into something personal. These are just some of the reasons that jazz is a great art form, and why some people consider it “America’s classical music”.
The Growth of Jazz
Jazz developed in the United States of America in the early 20th century. The city of New Orleans, near the mouth of the Mississippi river, played a key role in it’s development. The city’s population was more diverse than anywhere else in the South, and people of African, French, Caribbean, Italian, German, Mexican, English and Native American descent interacted with one another. African-American musical traditions mixed with others and gradually jazz emerged from a blend of ragtime, marches, blues and other styles of music. At first jazz was mostly for dancing, but in later years it became music that the audience would sit and listen to.
After the first jazz recordings were made in 1917, the music spread widely and developed rapidly. The evolution of jazz was lead by a series of brilliant musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. Later, jazz branched into a series of different styles, including tradition jazz, swing, bebop, cool jazz and jazz-rock, amongst others.
At the same time, jazz spread from the United States to many different parts of the world, and today jazz festivals and jazz musicians can be found all over the globe. Jazz is one of America’s greatest gifts to the world.