Jazz at 100: Celebrating 100 years of Recorded Jazz

On February 26, 1917, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band made the first jazz recording. Over the next 100 years, the music of jazz has brought forth transcendent leaps of creativity and staggering virtuosity. To celebrate this anniversary, WTJU is telling that story in its radio series – Jazz at 100.

Jazz at 100 is the story of one hundred years of jazz recordings in 100 one-hour programs that will represent music from the century of recorded jazz history.

Jazz at 100 will kick off with a special two-hour broadcast on this year’s anniversary of the first jazz recording — Sunday, February 26, 2017 — 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM on WTJU.

Then each week, Jazz at 100 will air on Fridays from 9:00-10:00 AM.

Host, Russell Perry, a retired architect and contributor to WTJU over the past 45 years, brings a fan’s appreciation to the music, seeking to create a soundtrack to illustrate the many available jazz histories and musical biographies. He will pair pieces of this scholarship with the music that inspired them to enrich the understanding of this fascinating narrative.

Drawing on the perspective of current Virginia musicians and scholars and funded, in part, by a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Jazz at 100 takes advantage of the extensive music collection accumulated over sixty years of broadcasting at WTJU. The work of University of Virginia professor Scott DeVeaux, especially his history, Jazz, written in 2009 with critic Gary Giddens, has been a singular inspiration for this effort.

The programs will follow a thematic path structured chronologically to present listeners with context to follow the evolution of the music. Social challenges, technological advances, and international affairs all impact this truly American story.

Programs will present themes like the antecedents of jazz and the first recordings in 1917, the diaspora of New Orleans jazz musicians in the 1920s, the birth and proliferation of big bands in the 1930s, war scarcities and strikes that created the context for the rise of Bebop in the 1940s, the divergence of Hard Bop, Cool and Mainstream in the 1950s, the politics of Free Jazz in the 1960s, the popularization of Fusion in the 1970s and Mainstream Revival in the 1980s.

You can find more information, including past episodes, at: wtju.net/jazz100

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