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A History of Violins in the World of Jazz

To understand the history of violins in jazz music, one should understand the history of jazz itself. Violins aren’t typically the first jazz instrument that comes to mind – saxophones, trumpets, percussion and the stringed bass might have that honor – but from the very beginning violins (and versions of violins) have played an important role in the development and expression of this uniquely American musical style.


To be clear, jazz derives African musical traditions. The city where jazz was born, New Orleans, was and remains a polyglot of cultures going back hundreds of years, a place where Spanish explorers, French traders, Cajun immigrants, African slaves and freemen, and Creole culture converged. Here the fusion of musical styles emerged in the late 19th century that evolved into French quadrilles, ragtime, blues, swing, Gypsy jazz, and bebop. Eventually cool jazz and free jazz emerge

Regard DorisJWillette

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