The Jazz Age

I’m unsure of my subject matter. In the Jazz age America was segregated along racial lines. Particularly in the south. Jazz, “the roaring twenties” provided through art a way for some black musicians. Paving the way for many more to emancipation

Artists such as Besse Smith, Cole Porter, Billie Holiday. Louis Armstrong with songs, “What a wonderful life” “Summertime”, gave black Americans a voice. The haunting song “Strange Fruit,” written as a poem by teacher Abel Meeropol, made famous initially by Billie Holiday with the lyrics, “strange fruit hanging from the poplar tree”  and later in the song “here is a strange and bitter crop”

I’m not an expert on music theory. But often adroit musicians would improvise as the song was played. “Mr Bojangles” is another haunting and much covered song. Louis Armstrong was the son of a prostitute and mostly absent father. Born and raised in New Orleans. In youth peddled out of a junk wagon.  My interest lies in the ability of art to transform peoples life’s.

Billie Holiday                                  Louis Armstong