Jazz (2001)
8.0/10
90
1 user 2 critic

Gumbo: Beginnings to 1917 

Jazz begins in New Orleans, 19th century America's most cosmopolitan city, where the sound of marching bands, Italian opera, Caribbean rhythms, and minstrel shows fills the streets with a ... See full summary »

Director:

Ken Burns
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Vernel Bagneris ... (voice)
Sidney Bechet Sidney Bechet ... Himself
Buddy Bolden Buddy Bolden ... Himself
Philip Bosco ... (voice)
Tom Bower ... (voice)
Avery Brooks ... (voice)
Hodding Carter III Hodding Carter III ... (voice)
Harry Connick Jr. ... (voice)
Kevin Conway ... (voice)
Keith David ... Narrator (voice)
Ann Duquesnay Ann Duquesnay ... (voice)
Charles Durning ... (voice)
Samuel L. Jackson ... (voice)
Derek Jacobi ... (voice)
Delroy Lindo ... (voice)
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Storyline

Jazz begins in New Orleans, 19th century America's most cosmopolitan city, where the sound of marching bands, Italian opera, Caribbean rhythms, and minstrel shows fills the streets with a richly diverse musical culture. In the 1890s, African-American musicians such as Jelly Roll Morton, Buddy Bolden and Sydney Bichet create a new music out of these ingredients. Soon after the start of the new century, people are calling it jazz. Written by Anonymous

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Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Release Date:

9 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Florentine Films, WETA See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Quotes

Narrator: [quoting James Lincoln Collier] It was a new century, and there were high hopes, and young people really wanted that kind of freedom to create a culture of their own. This was really the first time in American history that that had happened.
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User Reviews

 
Pretty much what you'd expect--an introduction to the roots of Jazz.
24 February 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Beginnings to 1917" is the first show in Ken Burns' wonderful series "Jazz". Not at all surprisingly it is about the roots of jazz and begins in New Orleans before the Civil War. Apparently, the town had a long tradition of music and blacks and whites would often listen to the same songs and musicians--something which didn't happen in other parts of the South. How slave traditions, spirituals, creole music, minstrels, the war, ragtime and the blues all worked together to lead to jazz is the main thrust of this show. As far as jazz goes, it discusses some of the earliest performers, such as Sidney Bichet, Jellyroll Morton and ended with a brief glimpse of Louis Armstrong at the very end of the show. It also briefly hints at the white world and how they slowly began to embrace jazz--albeit an often tamer and more polished version.

Overall, this is a great episode for folks like me who are NOT that familiar with jazz. It's both educational and the music is infectious and makes you want to see and hear more. My only complaint has to do with IMDb. Oddly, it lists the narrator (Keith David) but not the many folks who also appear in the episodes to talk about jazz or their favorite musicians.


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