Canadian Jazz Impact

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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
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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.

Before the Great Depression hit and the stock market crashed, the Roaring Twenties were in full swing. The flapper style redefined the way women dressed and acted. Women were expected to purchase goods that they had not previously been expected to, many of which revolved around jazz culture, like cosmetics, dancing garments, musical instruments and radios. Along with this, jazz and dancing were becoming increasingly popular. Jazz began with African-Americans, but it became popular with middle-class white Canadians soon enough. Jazz received harsh criticism in its beginning in the US, due to racism. Aside from prohibition, one of the reasons many African Americans turned to jazz was that is was a
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This industry provided job opportunities for both local and international talent. One of the most important people to come from this scene was William Eckstein. Montreal’s film industry experienced its peak from 1900-1930, during the time jazz in Canada was just beginning. Montreal’s booming movie industry also created a more vibrant downtown core and exciting nightlife, as many other businesses, such as restaurants and coffee shops, opened up to accomodate for the masses that were brought in. By 1914, Montreal had 100 moving picture houses and 6 full-scale theatres. Vaudeville and Broadway shows were also growing in popularity in at this time, both of which were always accompanied by an orchestra or a

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