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10 must-see tips on the history of Jazz

International Jazz Day is celebrated every year on 30 April, a world day created in 2012 at the behest of UNESCO. Numerous reasons led to this celebration, but the most relevant is related to the value of jazz music, considered a historical art form that, over the years, has helped to encourage dialogue between different peoples and cultures. Moreover, given the origins of this musical genre, it is a noteworthy vehicle for respecting human rights aimed at strengthening equality by eliminating all forms of discrimination.

To get ready for this significant day we have thought of providing you with a small handbook with 10 important notions and curiosities to discover the stories, messages and meaning of jazz music.

What to know on the occasion of Jazz Day 2022

As we have anticipated, jazz is not just some pleasant tune to listen to. It is an art form full of meaning and charged with extraordinary historicity. Here are ten basic notions to know about the history of jazz.

1. Jazz origins are to be found around the 1920s among the African-American population who worked in slavery, at the time. While they were working they used to sing songs called Work Songs and they gathered in the squares just to dance, pray and sing in their free time.


2. One of the nerve centres of jazz music is undoubtedly the city of New Orleans, a commercial port in Louisiana. Here, in this place considered a crossroads of peoples and cultures, this musical genre became contaminated with other genres that were played in every event of the community.


3. The name jazz has an uncertain origin. Some recent testimonies see the etymology of the word linked to the French term "jasser" which means to chat, to make a fuss. After all, in 1918 jazz music was considered to be unpleasant and cacophonic. Another theory instead sees the origin of the term linked to the word "Jar" as in vase: after all, jazz musicians initially used jars or inverted cans to play.


4. One of the characteristics of jazz is improvisation. This musical genre starts with the primary melody and a line that is then taken up by the other instruments and musicians that enrich it.


5. There are three types of primary jazz music, but in reality, there are countless subgenres and there are almost forty including swing, funk, Latin jazz or Bop.


6. The first universally recognised jazz album was made by a group of very original white musicians, the Original Dixieland jazz band. This album attracted the attention of the white population and, at that point, the American record companies of the 1920s began to sign African-American musicians up to record new songs.


7. One of the most famous clubs dedicated to jazz music was the controversial Cotton Club. Established in Harlem at the hands of Jack Johnson, it was then taken over by gangster Owney Madden who turned it into the Cotton Club. It was an ambiguous place, which seemed to tease and at the same time indulge the racist imagination of the time. However, the careers of some great jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong were launched here.


8. Among the most famous jazz musicians of all time, we cannot fail to remember great names such as Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock, David Brubeck, Chick Corea and Benny Goodman.


9. Duke Ellington was undoubtedly the first African-American jazz musician recognised as a composer in all respects. He was the only artist invited to play at Carnegie Hall, in New York, considered a temple of purely European music.


10. Today jazz has become a refined and almost exclusive genre, it is played in specialised clubs, ad hoc festivals are organised and very often it is also used as a relaxing and perfect musical genre to concentrate on something.

Why does jazz relax us?


Now that we have seen the origins of jazz music, we cannot help but wonder why today this is the preferred musical genre to relax or listen to in refined clubs. The answer comes from psychology and the study of neuroscience. It seems that the sounds that distinguish it, especially if combined with the noises of nature, create alpha waves in our minds, that is, those with greater calming power.

It is therefore not surprising that jazz music today is played in highly refined venues and is considered an excellent musical accompaniment for a dinner or an elegant and quiet aperitif.

Jazz, and more, resonate at the Royal Hotel Sanremo


The Royal Hotel Sanremo also knows the importance of music as an accompaniment to a romantic dinner or for a moment of relaxation and fun. In summer, for example, poolside jazz nights are constantly alternated in the busy summer calendar of Folies Royal events. But not only that, the live music resonates in the rooms of the Hotel thanks to the delightful live entertainment of the piano in the extraordinary setting of the Bar Delle Rose.

Wonder, elegance, charm and well-being are at home at the Royal Hotel Sanremo, but today we have discovered that even music is the master, to give guests an even more emotionally overwhelming stay.


3. The name jazz has an uncertain origin. Some recent testimonies see the etymology of the word linked to the French term "jasser" which means to chat, to make a fuss. After all, in 1918 jazz music was considered to be unpleasant and cacophonic. Another theory instead sees the origin of the term linked to the word "Jar" as in vase: after all, jazz musicians initially used jars or inverted cans to play.


4. One of the characteristics of jazz is improvisation. This musical genre starts with the primary melody and a line that is then taken up by the other instruments and musicians that enrich it.


5. There are three types of primary jazz music, but in reality, there are countless subgenres and there are almost forty including swing, funk, Latin jazz or Bop.


6. The first universally recognised jazz album was made by a group of very original white musicians, the Original Dixieland jazz band. This album attracted the attention of the white population and, at that point, the American record companies of the 1920s began to sign African-American musicians up to record new songs.


7. One of the most famous clubs dedicated to jazz music was the controversial Cotton Club. Established in Harlem at the hands of Jack Johnson, it was then taken over by gangster Owney Madden who turned it into the Cotton Club. It was an ambiguous place, which seemed to tease and at the same time indulge the racist imagination of the time. However, the careers of some great jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong were launched here.


8. Among the most famous jazz musicians of all time, we cannot fail to remember great names such as Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock, David Brubeck, Chick Corea and Benny Goodman.


9. Duke Ellington was undoubtedly the first African-American jazz musician recognised as a composer in all respects. He was the only artist invited to play at Carnegie Hall, in New York, considered a temple of purely European music.


10. Today jazz has become a refined and almost exclusive genre, it is played in specialised clubs, ad hoc festivals are organised and very often it is also used as a relaxing and perfect musical genre to concentrate on something.

Why does jazz relax us?

Now that we have seen the origins of jazz music, we cannot help but wonder why today this is the preferred musical genre to relax or listen to in refined clubs. The answer comes from psychology and the study of neuroscience. It seems that the sounds that distinguish it, especially if combined with the noises of nature, create alpha waves in our minds, that is, those with greater calming power.

It is therefore not surprising that jazz music today is played in highly refined venues and is considered an excellent musical accompaniment for a dinner or an elegant and quiet aperitif.

Jazz, and more, resonate at the Royal Hotel Sanremo


The Royal Hotel Sanremo also knows the importance of music as an accompaniment to a romantic dinner or for a moment of relaxation and fun. In summer, for example, poolside jazz nights are constantly alternated in the busy summer calendar of Folies Royal events. But not only that, the live music resonates in the rooms of the Hotel thanks to the delightful live entertainment of the piano in the extraordinary setting of the Bar Delle Rose.

Wonder, elegance, charm and well-being are at home at the Royal Hotel Sanremo, but today we have discovered that even music is the master, to give guests an even more emotionally overwhelming stay.

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