2011 44¢ Jazz
Issue Date: March 26, 2011
City: New Orleans, LA
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
As the 20th century began, a new sound developed in the sultry night clubs of New Orleans, Louisiana. A fusion of African, European, and Caribbean influences, jazz developed into one of the most popular music styles of the early 1900s.
The term jazz was first used to describe the music played in Chicago around 1915. But the style that came to be known as jazz was performed in New Orleans long before then. It was born from a combination of African tribal traditions and field calls, especially the “call and response pattern,” the harmonies of European music, and the rhythms of the Caribbean. One of the main features of the jazz style is the use of improvisation, particularly in solos.
Some of the earliest jazz was popular in dance halls. But as time passed, it became more about experimenting with timing and beat, and found an audience in mellow night clubs and coffee shops. Important jazz musicians included Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Jelly Roll Morton.
With roots in the blues, ragtime, and Dixieland, jazz evolved over the 20th century into several other popular styles. It has influenced even more types of music, including punk and funk. In fact, jazz has been called “America’s musical gift to the world.”