Built on individualism and compromise, independence and cooperation, Jazz has been called the purest expression of American democracy. Ken Burns’ documentary mini-series on the subject, ‘Jazz,’ airs in full Sunday 10 December on PBS.
The 12-part series presents the history of America’s greatest original art from, from its humble beginnings in the 1890s in New Orleans to the present.
The first episode, ‘Gumbo: Beginnings to 1917,’ explores how African-American musicians began to create a new music out of a combination of influences, from Italian opera to Caribbean rhythms.
The second episode, ‘The Gift: 1917 to 1924,’ takes on two extraordinary cities—New York and Chicago—and two extraordinary artists—Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington—whose work will span almost three-quarters of a century.
Further episodes explore the development of the genre through the 30s, 40s and 50s, before finally tracing its influences on present-day music.
All 12 episodes air back-to-back from 10:20am GMT on Sunday 10 December.