Music and Dance The Harlem Renaissance Maritza Perez, Fernando Jimenez, Fernando Nunez and Amanda Gyan The "resurgence" of African American culture, art, music, dance and literature. In the 1920s and 1930s, Harlem served as the cultural capital of black America and also the major center of nightlife in New York City. They brought their musical traditions of blues and spirituals, which was deeply rooted by their African heritage.The mass migration during that time helped to develop black music in New York.
Major Influences on Music and Dance The migration of different cultures, heritages and traditions- This blending, particularly in rural plantation life, re-enforced and re- invigorated certain African customs and practices, especially musical. As Ralph Ellison wrote, "[I]t was the Africans origin in cultures in which art was highly functional which gave him an edge in shaping the music and dance of this nation." European Christianity- the syncretism that created the African from disparate ethnic cultures and the syncretism that created the African- American or the Anglo-African from the blending of African and European cultures produced the unique aesthetic product of black American music. Negro Spirituality- The spirituals became the basis of a highly arranged choral music done by professional black composers. It was this sort of arranging tradition that produced a number of black musicians.
Most Famous Musicians of the time Period• Louis Armstrong• Dizzy Gillespie• Benny Goodman• James Fletcher Henderson• Charles Parker• Lester Young• Duke Ellington
• Started performing music at an early age• most important musician of the era• Headliner of the Cotton Club• played the piano but his real instrument was the orchestra• most prolific composer of the 20th century in terms of both number of compositions and variety of forms.• His development was one of the most spectacular in the history of music, underscored by more than 50 years of sustained achievement as an artist and an entertainer.• He is considered by many to be Americas greatest composer, bandleader, and recording artist.
Night Life• Atmosphere and Culture• Essence of the Harlem Renaissance• Embraced their race• Black Musicians• Freedom• Fashion
Majority of Musical Performances took place at:• The Cotton Club• Savoy Ballroom• Apollo Theatre• Ed Smalls Paradise• Connies Inn
Savoy Ballroom• Allowed interracial dancing of blacks and whites (Was frowned upon)• Could hold up to 4000 people• The Savoy was known as the “Home of happy feet” (Dance competitions)• Had the best Lindy hop dancers in the nation• It was said that The Lindy Hop originated at the Savoy
Dance and the Blues• Bessie Smith• Billie Holiday• Josephine Baker• Bill “Bonjangles” Robinson• The Charleston,• The Shimmy• The Lindy Hop• The Swing
IN THE LIVES OF AFRICAN AMERICANS Rent parties – “real blood of the community” Fats Waller- “This Joint is Jumping”, Louis Armstrong. Growth of jazz and blues Identity(culture) Fellowship
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY “barrier breaker” Attention of white society Self determination evolved into Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Roll, Disco, Soul and Rap Tap dance, Hip Hop and Break dance,etc.
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