| As the Harlem Renaissance began in full force, many different people had different ideals on how to bring their causes forth to the public. This is how the different genres came into play for the movement. Here we will concentrate on the musical aspect by giving a brief musical history, biographies of five influential people, a list of other prominent people in the movement, and some sound samples to introduce those who visit this site to the robust sounds of the Harlem Renaissance.|
|On this page, the following questions will be answered:|
- Name one club known from Harlem.
- When did most musicians move to Harlem?
- Which trumpet player was noted for puffing his cheeks when he played?
- What was the most popular form of music at the time?
- Did all people of the movement agree on how to convey their purpose?
|Answers are at bottom of the page.|
| In the 1920's and 30's many musicians moved to the Harlem area. Even though they acknowledged the big names associated with Jazz, the most popular music at the time, they could not identify with it. Noting this, they soon began to form their own types of music-- one their people could identify with and enjoy. Soon the instrumentalists and vocalists were joined by other genres of music such as classical and sacred (religious). With the Harlem musical scene, the Harlem Party scene grew. In clubs such as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theatre, food and alcohol joined the loud music. Even the upper crust in Harlem would attend these fiestas, they would not usually admit it! The below list of people were only a select few of the musicians known from the Harlem Renaissance.|
|Some prominent people to note: |
- Louis Armstrong
- Josephine Baker
- Duke Ellington
- Coleman Hawkins
- Bessie Smith
||(1901-1971) Louis Armstrong is listed as the oldest performer to ever have a No. 1 selling song on the music charts (The Guiness Book of Records). Armstrong received his very first music lesson with trumpet in a children's home (1913) located in New Orleans, to where he was sent for shooting off a pistol during a New Years celebration. Armstrong later moved to Chicago and joined King Oliver in 1922. In 1925, he started to record under his own name after playing in Fletcher Henderson's band in New York. Armstrong made two tours to Europe, which eventually led him into Africa. He recorded his last jazz work in the mid-1950s. He was also elected into the Down Beat Hall of Fame in 1953.|
|Some of his works include I'm in the Mood for Love, Solitude, Ain't Misbehavin', You Rascal You, Cabaret, Hello Dolly, Mack the Knife, Old Man Mose, and Wild Man Blues.|
||(1906-1975) As a young girl in Missouri, Josephine Baker searched for food in garbage cans and slept in cardboard shelters. Despite this hardship, Baker grew strong and pursued a great musical career. At age 18, Baker moved out of Missouri and up into New York where she took part in numerous stage productions, some of which included the Follies-Bergeres, Ziegfeld Follies, and Le Negre Revue in Paris. During the early 1930s, Baker recorded songs, did a European tour, and also starred in two films, Zou-Zou and Princess Tam-Tam.|
|Some of her works include Bye Bye Blackbird, Blue Skies, Always, He's the Last Word, Pretty Baby, Confessing, Suppose, and J'ai Deux Amours.|
||(1899-1974) Edward (Duke) Kennedy Ellington was given several honors around the world, two of which included the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the U.S. government, and the Legion of Honor by the French government. Edward received his first piano lesson at the age of seven to which they seemed not to have a very lasting effect on him. Duke attended Armstrong Manual Training School to study commercial art instead of an academic school. In 1917, Duke formed his first group: The Duke Serenaders, which was later renamed to The Washingtonians. Ellington made his first recording in 1923 in New York. He and his band toured around the world in several different cities, gaining more popularity with each stop.|
|Some of his works include Rockin' in Rhythm, Satin Doll, New Orleans, A Drum is a Women, Take the "A" Train, Happy-Go-Lucky Local, The Mooche, and Crescendo in Blue.|
||(1901-1969) Coleman Hawkins is recognized as the first great saxophonist of Jazz. In 1922, he joined the band led by Mamie Smith and was a part of some of her records until 1923. However, he made his first recording with Fletcher Henderson, to which he joined the Henderson Orchestra and stayed with them for the next ten years. He also recorded with McKinney's Cotton Pickers and Red McKenzie's Mound City Blue Blowers in 1929. In 1940, Hawkins recorded his most famous record: Body and Soul. Hawkins also recorded with Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and Sonny Rollins.|
|Some of his works include Broke But Happy, Blues on the Delta, Dee Tees, The Man I Love, Hawk Talk, Pebbles, Lazy Butterfly, Cool Blue, and Some Stretching.|
||(1894-1937) Bessie Smith was the first blues singer to have a major name with her recordings. Smith was born in Chattanooga, Tenn. and then moved north to Atlantic City where she performed in the early 1920s. Smith later become a popular figure with her first recording in 1923, Alberta Hunter's "Downhearted Blues." Bessie Smith also performed with James P. Johnson, Coleman Hawkins, Louis Armstrong, Don Redman, and Fletcher Henderson.|
|Some of her works include Backwater Blues, Taint Nobody's Bizness If I Do, St. Louis Blues, Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out, Down Hearted Blues, and Gulf Coast Blues.|
- Name one club known from Harlem. The Apollo Theatre or the Cotton Club.
- When did most musicians move to Harlem? 1920s to the 1930s.
- Which trumpet player was noted for puffing his cheeks when he played? Dizzy Gillespie.
- What was the most popular form of music at the time? Jazz.
- Did all people of the movement agree on how to convey their purpose? No, this is how different genres came out during the Renaissance.