When looking to experience live music in London, there is a wealth of different styles of jazz music available for you to discover. As you delve deeper into the vast selection of artists performing regularly, flying in from all around the globe, the diversity of this genre of music soon becomes very clear. Jazz music is still globally recognised for its distinct American vibe that sets it apart from any other style of music and over the years has merged itself with the culture of African beats and rhythm for a truly uplifting experience.
Thankfully, London boasts a wide variety of live music venues offering extensive opportunities for you to sample the many different facets that jazz music has to offer. Finding the perfect venue to cater to all of your entertainment requirements is no problem, with fine dining and extensive drinks menus often served alongside great musical performances. Regardless of the style of jazz music you are looking experience, you can rest assured that there will be an eclectic mix of live artists ready to take centre stage at some of the best locations across the City.
Jazz music can be split into four essential qualities that are essential to achieve its distinct sound; harmony, rhythm, tone and melodic qualities.
Hot jazz can be identified by cleverly improvised solos which are based around melodic structures that start off slow and gradually build up in rhythm to produce a passionately “Hot” climax with the use of drums, bass or guitars. The crescendo is often built up to and reached, many times throughout the performance, in the style of a marching tempo.
New Orleans Jazz is another style whose origins lie in the early 1890’s and 1900’s. This lively music style combines a variety of unexpected and off-beat rhythms from ragtime, often creating unique interpretations of old marching songs, popular work songs, blues and gospel songs collated together in brass band performances.
Chicago style jazz started in the late 1917’s and is characterized by inventive harmonic compositions performed by highly skilled and technical musicians. This style of jazz played a huge role in advancing improvised music of the time and Chicago quickly became known known as one of the leading jazz locations in America. It was during this period that the piano was introduced to jazz music, providing a completely new sound to the genre.
The 1940’s and post-war period transformed jazz music once again and Bebop was officially born. Bebop mixes high speed tempos with varied rhythmic patterns which produce a much softer and lighter sound. Focussing heavily on a solo performer rather than the entire band, Bebop soloists often perform exciting improvisations, often avoiding the melody altogether after the first chorus has been delivered.
Latin style jazz demonstrates a clear fusion between North, South and Central American jazz and holds its roots firmly in Bebop. Fusing together improvised Cuban jazz with highly addictive Afro rhythms, the range of instruments incorporated often includes Latin percussion, bongos, timbale, guitars, piano and vocals.
As you can see from just this small glimpse into the different styles of jazz music on offer from live music venues in London – jazz music continues to change, yet it still manages to retain an element of its original essence and roots at its heart. Jazz is a wonderfully diverse musical style that evolves with the times and the multiple outlooks of its listeners and performers. Perhaps one of the reasons that jazz music continues to remain so popular today is its ability to change and flow in rhythm to the current age it lives in. What’s your favourite style?