Jazz (2001– )
8.0/10
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Gumbo: Beginnings to 1917 

Jazz begins in New Orleans, 19th century America's most cosmopolitan city, where the sound of marching bands, Italian opera, Caribbean rhythms, and minstrel shows fills the streets with a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Vernel Bagneris ...
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Sidney Bechet ...
Himself
Buddy Bolden ...
Himself
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Hodding Carter III ...
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Narrator (voice)
Ann Duquesnay ...
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Storyline

Jazz begins in New Orleans, 19th century America's most cosmopolitan city, where the sound of marching bands, Italian opera, Caribbean rhythms, and minstrel shows fills the streets with a richly diverse musical culture. In the 1890s, African-American musicians such as Jelly Roll Morton, Buddy Bolden and Sydney Bichet create a new music out of these ingredients. Soon after the start of the new century, people are calling it jazz. Written by Anonymous

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9 January 2001 (USA)  »

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Pretty much what you'd expect--an introduction to the roots of Jazz.
24 February 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Beginnings to 1917" is the first show in Ken Burns' wonderful series "Jazz". Not at all surprisingly it is about the roots of jazz and begins in New Orleans before the Civil War. Apparently, the town had a long tradition of music and blacks and whites would often listen to the same songs and musicians--something which didn't happen in other parts of the South. How slave traditions, spirituals, creole music, minstrels, the war, ragtime and the blues all worked together to lead to jazz is the main thrust of this show. As far as jazz goes, it discusses some of the earliest performers, such as Sidney Bichet, Jellyroll Morton and ended with a brief glimpse of Louis Armstrong at the very end of the show. It also briefly hints at the white world and how they slowly began to embrace jazz--albeit an often tamer and more polished version.

Overall, this is a great episode for folks like me who are NOT that familiar with jazz. It's both educational and the music is infectious and makes you want to see and hear more. My only complaint has to do with IMDb. Oddly, it lists the narrator (Keith David) but not the many folks who also appear in the episodes to talk about jazz or their favorite musicians.


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