Jazz, Chicago, and the Great Migration

The cultural history of the city of Chicago is deeply intertwined with the story of jazz, America's great art form. After being born in New Orleans, jazz moved northwards with the African-American population that came to Chicago seeking better lives with more opportunities. It was here that the music grew up and developed into a major part of American culture, then spread around the nation and the world. This seminar will examine the racial and social issues swirling around New Orleans that fundamentally shaped the development of the music. We will then discuss how the very different cultural life in Chicago influenced the further development of the music. No previous familiarity with history or music is required; you will be introduced to the major instruments and the artists who played them via photographs, sound recordings, and film clips. Special attention will be given to introducing teaching strategies to engage your own students with this exciting music and its interaction with American history.