MOUNT VERNON — Fourth-graders from around the area went on a musical history tour of American jazz during Monday’s presentation at Memorial Theater, one of the Youth Enrichment Series of programs sponsored by the Knox County Educational Service Center, the Community Concert Association of Knox County and The Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County.
With commentary by trombonist James Masters, the five-man jazz ensemble demonstrated in words and music the evolution of American jazz from its beginnings in spiritual music, through blues, ragtime and Dixieland to New Orleans “swing” jazz, with “When The Saints Come Marching In” as the penultimate example.
Encouraged to join in with tapping feet and clapping hands, the students also learned about doo-wop, be-bop, boogie-woogie and scat and discovered how early rock-and-roll had jazz roots. Other sub-genres mentioned included the Afro-Cuban groove, big band jazz and swing. “The Charleston” had the audience on its feet, as did “It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing.”
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