How Jazz Musicians were affected by Diversity and Race Issues in American Society in the 20th Century.

Choose one of the following jazz artists/groups from the list below to research the way(s) in which race and/or diversity played a role in their interactions with American society in the earlier part of the 20th century (1900’s -1960’s.) This could include employment issues – performance opportunities, equal treatment, touring issues – hotels, travel options, etc.), criminal justice issues (cabaret cards, arrests, drug use-targeting of musicians and neighborhoods, etc.) and other social issues of the day. Learn how they responded (or were forced to respond) to these issues and how they involved themselves in issues of civil rights and race and diversity discrimination. Discuss how they used their music or status in the entertainment industry to address these issues.

Louis Armstrong– early 20th century stardom for a Black musician

Fletcher Henderson – Black swing bands vs. White Swing Bands – opportunities, acceptance, Black composers/arrangers and White Swing Bands

Benny Goodman– segregation, Black and White musicians playing together

Billie Holiday – female jazz performer, “Strange Fruit”, cabaret card, drug issues.

John Coltrane – “Alabama”, how he used his music to comment on Society

Cannonball and Nat Adderley Sextet –raised awareness through their music – “Work Song”, and other songs which were inspired by African American history and traditions. Active in Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s.

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS