Jazz and the Great Migration
Born from the blues and in the tradition of southern spirituals, jazz first became a cultural vehicle for Black musicians and vocal artists in the early 1900s. It was a medium that could laugh and cry, that could express Black joy and tell stories of Black resistance, that centralized Black voices and experiences in a time of deep racial inequity–and it did so to White and Black audiences alike.
Jazz rose to popularity during the height of The Great Migration (roughly 1915-1970), that exodus of necessity for roughly six million African Americans. Escaping the Jim Crow laws of Southern agrarian states for the social and economic opportunities of Northern industrial metropolises, “They did what humans have done for centuries when life became untenable” (Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns, 2010).
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BIMA is following the COVID-19 recommendations and guidance from Kitsap Public Health District, Washington State Department of Health, and the CDC, and will continue to update health and safety policies as needed. At this time, masks and proof of vaccination is not required–but we welcome you to wear a mask if you choose.
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Dr. James Gore is the executive director of the Jackson Street Music Program and curator of the Jazz in the City music series. He hosts the New Urban Unlimited Radio Show on Alternative-Talk 1150 KKNW and studies African American storytelling and perception in media: film, music, theater, radio, literature, and social media.