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Pre 1900

The Origins of Jazz

The music we now know as ‘jazz’ is thought to have its roots in nineteenth century America, when black music and entertainment became popular following the abolition of slavery. African-American work-songs, blues and melodies, spirituals and rhythms naturally fused with European music and instruments to form a new type of music. In 1873, an Afro-American capella group, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, visited the UK on a fundraising tour and was asked to sing for Queen Victoria. They were followed into Britain by a variety of Afro-American performers, including minstrel shows and revues.

Image: The Fisk Jubilee Singers c1890s © Fisk University

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