A Chronology of Jazz Music

TM, ®, Copyright © 1996 Piero Scaruffi. All rights reserved.

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The arrow signifies "birth of a new genre"
Several events relating to blues, boogie-woogie, soul, etc etc are listed in my chronology of rock music. Eventually i will merge them all into just one chronology of the 20th century.
1828
  • Thomas "Daddy" Rice's Jim Crow becomes the first international hit ever
  • 1843
  • The Virginia Minstrels define the standard of the minstrel show
  • 1865
  • The first black minstrel group, the Georgia Minstrels, is formed
  • 1873
  • James Bland becomes the first major black songwriter
  • 1885
  • Benjamin Franklin Keith and Edward Franklin Albee partner to create a nation-wide chain of vaudeville theaters
  • 1897
  • Tom Turpin publishes the first piano rag, Harlem Rag
  • 1898
  • Bob Cole's A Trip to Coontown is the first musical comedy entirely produced and performed by blacks
  • 1905
  • Ernest Hogan's black orchestra, the Memphis Students, debuts on Broadway
  • 1907
  • Florenz Ziegfeld's revue "Ziegfeld Follies" debuts
  • 1909
  • James Europe founds the "Clef Club"
  • 1910
  • Bert Williams becomes the first black to be the protagonist of the "Ziegfeld Follies"
  • 1915
  • Vernon and Irene Castle open New York's first cabaret, "Sans-Souci"
  • Jelly Roll Morton's Jerry Roll Blues is the first published piece of jazz music
  • 1916
  • Charles "Luckey" Roberts is the first Harlem pianist to be recorded
  • 1917
  • James Johnson pioneers stride piano
  • A white band, the Original Dixieland Jass Band, makes the first recording of "dixieland jazz" recording
  • 1918
  • Joe "King" Oliver moves to Chicago
  • King Oliver leaves New Orleans for Chicago
  • White singer Al Jolson debuts the blackface character "Gus"
  • James Europe's orchestra Hellfighters tours Europe
  • Okeh releases its first record, by the New Orleans Jazz Band
  • 1919
  • Will-Marion Cook's orchestra introduces Chicago to the syncopated music of New York
  • Will-Marion Cook's orchestra tours Europe
  • Kid Ory's Creole Orchestra cuts the first instrumental record by a black orchestra
  • The Original Dixieland Jass Band exports jazz to Britain
  • 1920
  • Mamie Smith makes the first blues recording
  • 1921
  • Eubie Blake's Shuffle Along is the first musical entirely produced and performed by blacks
  • 1922
  • Louis Armstrong moves to Chicago
  • Kid Ory makes the first recording by a black jazz ensemble
  • 1923
  • Coleman Hawkins moves to New York as a member of Mamie Smith's band and joins Fletcher Henderson's orchestra
  • A blues interpreted by black singer Bessie Smith becomes a national best-seller
  • The "Cotton Club" opens in Harlem
  • Fletcher Henderson forms a big band in New York
  • 1924
  • Classical composer George Gershwin premieres the jazz composition Rhapsody in Blue performed by the Paul Whiteman orchestra
  • 1925
  • Louis Armstrong forms the Hot Five
  • 1926
  • Lew Leslie stages the "Blackbirds Revue" with an all-black cast
  • Louis Armstrong popularizes scat singing
  • The "Savoy" opens in Harlem
  • 1927
  • Bix Beiderbecke joins the Paul Whiteman orchestra
  • Duke Ellington's shows at the "Cotton Club" are broadcast live
  • The "Onyx Club" opens in New York
  • The first talking movie is titled "The Jazz Singer"
  • 1929
  • Kansas City guitarist Eddie Durham experiments with proto-amplifiers
  • 1931
  • Duke Ellington's Creole Rhapsody (1931) takes both sides of a 7" record
  • Bix Beiderbecke dies
  • Buddy Bolden dies
  • 1932
  • Louis Armstrong tours Europe
  • A Duke Ellington hit features the word "swing" in the title
  • 1934
  • The magazine "Down Beat" is founded
  • A Cab Calloway hit gives a name to swing dancing, "jitterbug'
  • The "Apollo" night-club opens in Harlem
  • 1935
  • Duke Ellington releases the 13-minute Reminiscing in Tempo, the longest jazz pieces yet committed to a record
  • A concert by the Benny Goodman orchestra at the "Palomar Ballroom" in Los Angeles is broadcast live
  • Benny Goodman makes recordings with a racially integrated trio
  • 1936
  • William "Count" Basie organizes the Barons of Rhythm in Kansas City with Lester Young
  • 1937
  • Dizzy Gillespie tours Europe
  • Bessie Smith dies
  • Duke Ellington's Caravan debuts Afro-Cuban rhythms in a swing context
  • 1938
  • King Oliver dies
  • Commodore, one of the first independent jazz labels, is founded by Milt Gabler
  • 1939
  • Coleman Hawkins' Body And Soul redefines the jazz ballad
  • Blue Note is founded by German emigre Alfred Lion
  • Ma Rainey dies
  • 1941
  • Jelly Roll Morton dies
  • Sidney Bechet pioneers overdubbing when he plays six instruments on Sheik of Araby
  • Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke jam at Milt Minton's "Playhouse" in a new style, bebop
  • 1942
  • Charlie Christian dies
  • Savoy is founded by Herman Lubinsky
  • 1943
  • Fats Waller dies
  • 1944
  • Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan constitute the nucleus of Billy Eckstine's band
  • The word "bebop" is first used to promote Dizzy Gillespie's quintet
  • Verve is founded by Norman Granz
  • 1945
  • Miles Davis records with Charlie Parker
  • 1947
  • Dizzy Gillespie records George Russell's Cubana Be Cubana Bop, the first modal improvisation
  • Gil Evans becomes Miles Davis' arranger
  • Dizzy Gillespie pioneers Afro-Cuban jazz
  • GNP Crescendo is founded by Gene Norman
  • 1948
  • Discovery is founded by Albert Marx
  • 1949
  • Lennie Tristano records two completely improvised free-form jams, Intuition and Digression
  • Miles Davis' nonet inaugurates "cool jazz"
  • New Jazz (later Prestige) is founded by Bob Weinstock
  • Metronome is founded in Sweden
  • 1950
  • Vanguard is founded by Maynard and Seymour Solomon
  • 1952
  • The Modern Jazz Quartet is formed to play chamber jazz
  • Fletcher Henderson dies
  • Pacific Jazz is founded by Richard Bock and Roy Harte
  • 1953
  • Lennie Tristano records the dissonant Descent into the Maelstrom
  • Sun Ra founds his Arkestra
  • Horace Silver's Opus De Funk introduces the word "funk" in music
  • Delmark is founded by Bob Koester in Chicago
  • Django Reinhardt dies
  • Riverside is founded by Bill Grauer and Orrin Keepnews
  • 1954
  • Art Blakey and Horace Silver form the Jazz Messengers and coin "hard bop"
  • 1955
  • Charlie Parker dies at 35
  • John Coltrane joins Miles Davis' quintet
  • "Voice of America" begin broadcasting Willis Conover's jazz program for Soviet Union
  • Leonard Feather's "Encyclopedia of Jazz" is published
  • 1956
  • Clifford Brown dies
  • Marshall Stearns' "The Story of Jazz" is published by Oxford University Press
  • Art Tatum dies
  • Youstol Dispage dies
  • 1958
  • The Monterey Jazz Festival is started by Jimmy Lyons
  • Jim Hall coins the term "instant composition" to describe jazz improvisation
  • 1959
  • Dave Brubeck's Time Out (1959) becomes the first million-selling jazz record
  • Ornette Coleman launches free jazz with The Shape of Jazz to Come
  • Sidney Bechet dies
  • Lester Young dies
  • Billie Holiday dies
  • 1960
  • Eric Dolphy joines Ornette Coleman
  • Betty Carter uses the voice as an instrument on The Modern Sound
  • Impulse is founded by by producer Creed Taylor
  • 1961
  • Horace Tapscott founds the Union of God's Musicians and Artists Ascension or Underground Musicians' Association (UGMA) in Los Angeles
  • Ravi Shankar and Bud Shank mix jazz and Indian music
  • 1962
  • Stan Getz sparks interest in bossanova
  • Free-jazz musicians travel to Europe
  • Sunny Murray abandons rhythm
  • 1963
  • Archie Shepp and Don Cherry form the New York Contermporary Five
  • Tony Oxley, Derek Bailey and Gavin Bryars form the trio Joseph Holbrooke
  • ESP is founded by Bernard Stollman
  • 1964
  • Don Cherry moves to Europe
  • John Coltrane adopts Coleman's free jazz for Ascension
  • Michael Mantler founds the Jazz Composer's Orchestra Association (JCOA)
  • Guenter Hampel, Manfred Schoof and Alexander von Schlippenbach formed a quintet in Germany
  • Tony Scott records Music For Zen Meditation, a collaboration with a koto player and a shakuhachi flute player
  • John Coltrane cuts the four-movement multi-ethnic mass A Love Supreme
  • Eric Dolphy dies
  • 1965
  • The Chicago Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians is formed in Chicago
  • John Stevens founds the Spontaneous Music Ensemble in Britain
  • 1966
  • Bud Powell dies
  • Roscoe Mitchell releases the first album of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM)
  • Alexander Von Schlippenbach forms the Globe Unity Orchestra
  • Milestone is founded by Orin Keepnews
  • 1967
  • Anthony Braxton forms a trio with violinist Leroy Jenkins and trumpeter Leo Smith, the Creative Construction Company
  • Roscoe Mitchell's group is renamed Art Ensemble Of Chicago
  • Willem Breuker, Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg found the Instant Composer's Pool in Holland
  • The first Montreux Jazz Festival is held in Switzerland
  • Nessa is founded by Chuck Nessa in Chicago
  • John Coltrane dies
  • Paul Whiteman dies
  • 1968
  • The multimedia collective Black Artists' Group (BAG) is formed in St Louis
  • Evan Parker and Derek Bailey form the Music Improvisation Company
  • Anthony Braxton, a member of the Chicago Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, launches "creative jazz" with For Alto Saxophone
  • Miles Davis employs electric piano and electric guitar for Miles In The Sky
  • Wes Montgomery dies
  • Sackville is founded by John Norris and Bill Smith
  • Gunther Schuller's "History of Jazz" is published
  • 1969
  • Miles Davis launches jazz-rock fusion with In a Silent Way
  • Manfred Eicher founds the ECM label in Germany
  • FMP (the Free Music Production) is founded
  • Coleman Hawkins dies
  • 1970
  • Anthony Braxton forms Circle with pianist Chick Corea, double-bassist Dave Holland and drummer Barry Altschul
  • Albert Ayler dies at 34
  • Evan Parker, Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley found Incus
  • 1971
  • John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra introduces a strong Indian element into jazz
  • Enja (European New Jazz Association) is founded by Horst Weber and Matthias Winckelmann in Germany
  • Louis Armstrong dies
  • 1972
  • Barry Guy founds the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra
  • Steeple Chase is founded by Nils Winther
  • 1973
  • Herbie Hancock's Headhunters becomes the all-time best-seller of jazz music
  • 1974
  • Duke Ellington dies
  • Hat Hut/Hat Art is founded by Werner Uehlinger in Switzerland
  • 1976
  • Derek Bailey founds the Company
  • Black Saint is founded by Giovanni Bonandrini in Italy
  • 1977
  • Errol Garner dies
  • Roland Kirk dies
  • Creative Music Productions is founded in Germany
  • 1979
  • Charles Mingus dies
  • Stan Kenton dies
  • Gramavision is founded by Jonathan Rose
  • Soul Note is founded by Giovanni Bonandrini in Italy
  • 1980
  • Bill Evans dies
  • 1981
  • Mary Lou Williams dies
  • 1982
  • Thelonious Monk dies
  • Fred Anderson opens the "Velvet Lounge" in Chicago
  • 1983
  • Earl Hines dies
  • Herbie Hancock's Rockit is the first single by a jazz musician to reach number one in Billboard's pop charts
  • 1984
  • Count Basie dies
  • 1985
  • Kenny Clarke dies
  • 1986
  • Benny Goodman dies
  • 1987
  • Jaco Pastorius dies
  • The "Knitting Factory" club is opened by Michael Dorf
  • 1988
  • Gilles Peterson coins the term "acid jazz"
  • Gil Evans dies
  • Chet Baker dies
  • 1989
  • Roy Eldridge dies
  • Woody Shaw dies
  • 1990
  • Mel Lewis dies
  • Sarah Vaughan dies
  • Dexter Gordon dies
  • Art Blakey dies
  • 1991
  • Stan Getz dies
  • Miles Davis dies
  • 1993
  • Sun Ra dies
  • Dizzy Gillespie dies
  • 1994
  • Joe Pass dies
  • 1995
  • Don Cherry dies at 59
  • Don Pullen dies
  • Tzadik is founded by John Zorn
  • 1996
  • Gerry Mulligan dies
  • The first Vision Festival is held for avantgarde jazz
  • 1997
  • Stephane Grapelli dies
  • Tony Williams dies
  • Ted Gioia's "The History of Jazz" is published.
  • 1999
  • Art Farmer dies
  • Milt Jackson dies
  • Lester Bowie dies
  • 2001
  • Alyn Shipton's "New History of Jazz" is published
  • 2004
  • Steve Lacy dies at 69
  • 2005
  • Derek Bailey dies at 75
  • The "Katrina" hurricane devastate New Orleans
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • Piero Scaruffi's "A History of Jazz Music" is published
  • Leroy Jenkins dies at 75
  • Max Roach dies at 83
  • Joe Zawinul dies at 75
  • Oscar Peterson dies at 82
  • 2011
  • Paul Motian dies at 80
  • Sam Rivers dies at 88
  • 2014
  • Charlie Haden dies
  • 2015
  • Ornette Coleman dies
  • 2016
  • Paul Bley dies
  • TM, ®, Copyright © 1996 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
    Main music page | History of jazz music | Best albums of all times
  • Piero Scaruffi's "A History of Jazz Music" is published