The Art of Jazz

The Art of Jazz

MiKayla Evans, WHS Reporter

A Poem for My Librarian, Mrs. Long

There was always the radio which brought us
Songs from w/ac in Nashville and what we would now call
Easy listening or smooth jazz but when I listened
Late at night with my portable (that I was so proud of)
Tucked under my pillow
I heard Nat King Cole and Matt Dennis, June Christy and Ella FitzGerald
And sometimes Sarah Vaughan sing black coffee
Which I now drink
It was just called music


by Nikki Giovanni



I was researching poems for Black History Month and came across this poem with these lines stuck out to me the most which said: “ There was always radio which brought us songs from the w/ac in Nashville and what we would now call easy listening or smooth jazz” (Giovanni). These lines meant to different things to me and me author, to me these lines made that music was soothing but it also had a sort of different meaning behind it. This music was very important to them he got them through the hardships they faced all throughout their history. Back in the old days, when certification and slaves were, The people working in the field would harm or make music to help them get them through the day and to make the tough times easier to bear. Because of this, they influenced future generations of African-American musicians that to this day are still creating jazz music that moves your soul.

Jazz music is quite popular to this day, in New Orleans where jazz music was originally born. Many jazz musicians took their inspiration from African-American slaves that hummed and whistled in the fields. They would make some sort of rhythm to keep their mind off of the bad things that were happening all around them. In New Orleans, many people play jazz music that inspires them like the artist back in the 1700s. In the poem line 13 it reads, “ I heard Nat King Cole and Matt Dennis, June Christy and Ella Fitzgerald and sometimes Vaughan sing black coffee”, they were inspired by the people before them and they continue to influence many generations after them.

I found an article called “ are contributions to music“, this article is about music and how it is such an inspiration to jazz musicians today. In the article, it also said jazz music has deeply contributed to all who like music. Jazz music has also affected all types of music today including pop, rock, country and any other genre of music. People take music from back then incorporate how they feel and turn it into something new and inspiring. African Americans look back at the music they were given and they continue on remembering because it was a big influence on how their people came to be.