Jazz Entertainment History

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Everyone has heard of jazz, whether they like it or not. While not one of the premier and most popular form of music in modern times, jazz music was a staple of the 1920’s. As time has gone by, jazz has diminished in popularity and people’s appreciation of it has become less and less. In comparison, people still enjoy musicals, older ones, such as Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, and newer musicals like Hamilton and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. These musicals garner much interest from many Americans and give America a more traditional form of entertainment. Most people don’t associate jazz with American musical theater, however, but when thinking about American musical theater, it is impossible to leave out jazz in it’s history because jazz was…show more content…
One of the most notable changes jazz brought to musical theater was fusing audience and actor interaction. Younger audiences wanted more enticing and stimulating music that would let them move however they felt and participate more actively in the show and the music. Jazz was the most recent generation’s chance to define who they were and what culture they stood for. The jazz musicians themselves built their style for each unique performance around the audience’s energy and focused improvisations based on the crowd. To the older generations, this was a seemingly bizarre interaction between musician and attendee. This new jazz culture stood as the newest generation’s “emblem of a new and dangerous ‘Age of the Young’ and of an out-of-control modernity” (Savran 460). People wanted unconventional music that wasn’t so formal and didn’t require contemplation to appreciate. They didn’t want to have to think about the music they were listening to or listen to boring operas about stories they didn’t understand. Jazz was one of the first devices that really helped people express how they felt and let them radiate a new and even dangerous personality in new musical experiences. Also, The Ziegfeld Follies in 1920 brought a jazz number onto the scene described as “a song [celebrating] a ‘jazzy Cleopatra’ . . . whose vigorous dancing and bold flirtations make her, like jazz itself, dangerous and irresistible” (Magee 706). Musicals of this time period
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