How Did Jazz Affect Canada

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The Impact of Jazz on Canada in the 20th Century

Though not an entirely Canadian concept, jazz had a significant impact in Canada in the years 1918-1950. Early jazz music in Canada was dependent on touring artists from American cities, who would occasionally perform in cities near the border.n Canada, jazz music was still in its infancy, whereas jazz was “born” in 1895 in the US. Jelly Roll Morton was one of the first Americans to tour in Canada, performing in Vancouver cabarets from 1919-1921. The genre made its way into Winnipeg, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal independently, each city having their own scene. These scenes merged together to create Canada’s unique jazz scene. American prohibition was in effect from 1919-1933, which encouraged many Americans, including musicians, to move north. This greatly influenced Canada by bringing many influential jazz musicians in, such as the Creole Band, who started Winnipeg’s jazz scene. The scene thrived in Montreal particularly, thanks to its large and concentrated black population in St-Henri. Harry Thomas is said to be the first Canadian Jazz musician, however this has been disputed due to the fact that Canada’s history of jazz is largely aural.
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From receiving heavy criticism due to a variety of factors to being the most popular musical genre for Canadians during the Great Depression, jazz music has been responsible for uplifting people’s spirits, shaping cities and changing the face of music. Prohibition and racial tensions in the United States attracted talent, whether immigrants were seeking employment in film or pursuing a career in jazz. The Golden Age of Radio also contributed to jazz’s success, leading jazz to be the most popular genre of the 1930s. It is often forgotten that Canada is home to some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, like Oscar Peterson. Jazz is not only an American concept, contrary to popular

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