History of Recorded Jazz

In early 1917, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band made the first jazz recording. Over the next 100 years we have heard transcendent leaps of creativity and staggering virtuosity; we have experienced the music of crushing pain, breathless romance, anger, exhilaration and humor. “Jazz at 100” is that story – one hundred years of jazz recordings – in 100 one-hour programs that will present representative music from a century of recorded jazz history.

Jazz at 100

In 2017, WTJU’s Rus Perry produced 100 one hour episodes covering the history of recorded jazz. Syndicated from coast to coast, this enormous body of work has now been adapted as a free, online class for anyone to enjoy and learn from. Each lesson is expected to take about an hour.

Please note that there is no login or account creation. You will need to track your own progress.

To take the course, please click a button below.

  • Can be taken on your own
  • Lessons build upon each other
  • Can be used by anyone
  • Activities & Knowledge Checks
  • 14 Lessons + Course Intro&Review

  • Requires an Instructor
  • Lessons are Independent
  • Intended for grades 9-12
  • Lesson Plans, Activities & Tests
  • 14 Individual Lessons

Teachers can view provided materials by clicking here.

You can hear the original 100 episodes and the follow up “Jazz at 100 Today!” at: wtju.net/jazz100

This was produced by Lewis Reining and Brooke Whitehurst with consultation and editing from Rus Perry. The “History of Recorded Jazz” was produced with support from the National Endowment of the Arts.


Become a Sponsor

Underwriting WTJU is a way to broadly share information about your business. It’s also a way for your business or organization to gain community-wide recognition for your support of WTJU’s community mission.

Underwrite a Program


Your gift nourishes our community and helps bring people together through music.

Underwrite a Program