A Result of The Great Migration Was Chicago Blues and Jazz
The Great Migration refers to mass movements of African-Americans from the South to the North seeking better economic opportunities. For Chicago Jazz specifically, it meant that people brought over the music developing in places such as New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. From there, jazz flourished in the city. It mixed and accommodated the tastes of the local and the melting pot of influences in the city.
Louis Armstrong Began His Career in Chicago
Famous jazz musician Louis Armstrong got his start in Chicago. In 1922, Armstrong’s mentor, Joe “King” Oliver, requested Armstrong join him in the Windy City. At the time, the 21-year-old was one of the many African-Americans who migrated from the South to the North.
The Maxwell Street Market Was the Birthplace of Chicago Blues
Maxwell Street was the name of an unusual open-air market in Chicago that had a reputation for selling a range of items. It was in this market where Chicago Blues was born. Musicians, encouraged by sellers, would play for the shoppers as they went from booth to booth. However, the performers realized their guitars were not audible over the commotion of the shoppers. Instead, they needed to switch over to electric guitars if they wanted to be heard, resulting in one of the iconic sounds of Chicago Blues.
Chicago Blues (But Especially Muddy Waters) Influenced the Rolling Stones
Chicago Blues was a significant factor in the creation of rock and roll. The use of electric guitars and sounds would lead to future musicians creating a new music genre. Muddy Waters was an incredibly influential figure. He influenced the likes of Chuck Berry and was a major influence on the Rolling Stones, even going as far as for them to name themselves after his song “Rollin’ Stone.”
Written by Claudia Piwowarczyk
“Louis Armstrong Biography” by Louis Armstrong House Museum
Maxwell Street: A History of Racial and Cultural Integration by Albus Gao from Finding Chicago: Global Perspectives
“Muddy Waters: 1915–1983” by Robert Palmer from Rolling Stone
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