Kansas City Jazz Impact

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Music has the ability to make somebody feel a wide range of emotions just by the lyrics, the artist, or the genre. One major example of this is jazz. The forceful rhythms, energizing beats, and rousing styles of jazz have been known to reveal a large impact on people. The vast ways of performing jazz enable it to entertain people widely. Most commonly in correlation with African-Americans, jazz hit its peak during the twentieth century. With segregation being a major affliction during that time, many African-Americans turned to this type of music with open hearts. In fact, a numerous amount of cities began making a name for themselves due to this spirited style of music and its mass effect during the mid-1900s. Kansas City, Missouri is just…show more content…
“Recognizing their contribution is essential to understanding fully the significance and impact of Kansas City jazz” (Pearson 197). Whether they were born in Kansas City, or they travelled to perform there, the influence they brought affected Kansas City greatly. Using their lyrics to speak their minds to the community made a large impact. Some of the greatest jazz musicians in Kansas City during this time would even perform for white audiences. This was a striking opportunity to use that to their advantage. “Musicians took their fame and music to promote racial equality” (Gross 1). Two of the many great jazz musicians during this time were Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. Louis Armstrong lived a life of jazz and made a career of it from the 1920s to the 1960s. “...by performing for mainly white audiences, Louis Armstrong had a subtle way of dealing with racial issues” (Gross 1). Louis Armstrong became a face for the whole jazz community fighting against segregation. One song he sang in Kansas City was titled, “What Did I Do To Be So Black and Blue?” And included lyrics saying, “My only sin, is my skin, what did I do, to be so black and blue?” (Gross 1). Performing these deep lyrics to a white audience forced them to hear what they are going through. Another important jazz figure during this time was Charlie Parker. Charlie Parker was born in Kansas City which made him connect with the black community there much more profoundly. “Charlie Parker was, after Louis Armstrong, the second genius of jazz, profoundly influencing all the musicians who followed him” (Pearson 197). Charlie Parker was inspired by events in his life and put forth that inspiration into his music. Parker once said, “Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your own wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of

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