Jazz, which started to gain popularity in Kansas City at the turn of the century, is reflected in the city's complex history. The jazz scene in the city made a vital contribution to our knowledge of race relations in the 1900s. Racial tensions were put on the back burner in Kansas City's jazz clubs in favor of the music itself. This project examines how jazz created safe spaces where racial tensions were secondary, allowing marginalized voices to be heard. African Americans across the nation may have gained legitimacy as performers and leaders thanks to jazz, according to the experiences of Kansas City. Explore Kansas City by booking DTW flights to Kansas City.
Kansas City's History
A town called Westport Landing in Kansas City, Missouri has undergone three incorporations and had three different names during its history. John McCoy built Westport Landing, which was once a boat wharf, in the 1830s. The Town of Kansas was established in the region in 1850 by a group of 14 investors. When it became Kansas City in 1889, that was the last change. Settlement was encouraged by the town's strategic location, especially following the Louisiana Purchase in 1804. By the Missouri River, French fur traders established huts after arriving, founding Kansas as a settlement. Lewis and Clark first explored the region, and Mormon settlers from New York first arrived there in 1831.
Individuals and urban environments influence the complicated narrative of Jazz, which is not linearly or predictably developed. In the United States, jazz is distinctive for the way it is tied to and permeates metropolitan areas. Due to its history of African-American music's special place in Congo Square and its location as a seaport and commercial hub, New Orleans was a prime location for the development of jazz.
Kansas City's black population
African-American communities have played a vital role in Kansas City's history going back to the Civil War, as highlighted by VISITKC. The first African Americans were slaves who were brought there.
Numerous circumstances, including Jim Crow laws, pests in cotton fields, and the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, contributed to the Great Migration. William Basie was one among the African-American musicians who relocated to Kansas City thanks to the Theatre Owners Booking Association (TOBA). Many people remained in Kansas City after escaping discrimination and segregation, where they faced violence, bomb threats, and even a plan to demolish homes. Despite these difficulties, African Americans experienced a strong sense of racial pride, which prompted the establishment of organizations like the NAACP and the Kansas City Monarchs.
Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 1916, Jay McShann started teaching himself the piano at a young age. Oliver Todd, Elmer Hopkins, Buster Smith, and Dee Stewart helped him build his trio, and he eventually teamed up with Charlie Parker to start his big band. McShann had a great jazz career, performing in New York and California. He reunited his band in 1943 after serving in the military and assisted in Jimmy Witherspoon's career launch. From 1969 to the 1980s, McShann gave concerts in the Midwest, at festivals, and internationally, where he gained notoriety for his piano playing with a bluesy undertone.
On the Scalar project, team members' labor was distributed according to the portions they were assigned. Jackson concentrated on jazz while Elise and Sara worked on the segment on Kansas City's history. Research by AJ and Sarah was essential, and Jackson oversaw smooth transitions and wrote the introduction and conclusion. Elise oversaw the project's planning and design as the Scalar engineer-in-chief. Based on their significance to jazz in Kansas City, the group also identified three jazz musicians: Jay McShann, Claude Williams, and Jerry Jerome. If you want to know more about Kansas City then book a flight from Detroit to Kansas City.