Classic Jazz Band
During the first half of the 20th century, jazz was America's popular music. People danced to the music of swing bands and sang along to popular songs. This song is from the musical "Hello Dolly" and many different artists recorded their own versions of it. Notice how Louis Armstrong both sings and plays the trumpet, just like modern pop stars who both sing and play.
George Gershwin "Prelude No. 1" (Grigory Gruzman, piano)
George Gershwin is a unique composer because he was successful in writing both popular and classical music. Here is one of his classical pieces. Can you hear how the popular jazz music of the time influenced Gershwin in writing this piece?
Django Reinhardt "J'attendrai Swing" Django Reinhardt also played jazz on a stringed instrument. Notice how he mostly plays with his index and middle fingers, occasionally using the other two together as one finger. This is because he injured two of his fingers in an accident. It is amazing how well he can still play in spite of this.
Thana Alexa "Take Five"
Jazz artists today still use styles developed in the first half of the 20th century. Here, Thana Alexa sings "vocalese" style, meaning that she sings words to a melody originally written for an instrument. Jazz artists have been doing this since the 1950s. Notice that she also scat sings (sings nonsense syllables) like Louis Armstrong did in the first video.