Chicago Musical Essays

Chicago Musical Essays-29
In the 1920s Chicago’s South Side "bright-light" district "The Stroll" was the heart of the jazz scene.Peppered with nightclubs, pool halls, tattoo parlors and vaudeville houses, it was home to the city’s 100,000 African Americans.

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It seemed that the great minds spent more time dismissing each other’s work than building their own. In every other field I had studied reason provided a clear path to knowledge. Every time I thought I had deduced the logical path to a new idea I discovered faults in my logic that left me in the same place I had started. “But how do you know your conclusion isn’t like an explanation of the movement of shadows on a wall” I asked alluding to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

“I needn’t concern myself with hypotheses that cannot be falsified. ” “It just does,” the mother said as she walked out of earshot.

For me, if I am able to impact even one of the 500 kids that are in my old school, I’ll feel like I’ve had an influence.”“The goal at the end of the day is to change lives.

In the wake of America's entry into WWI in 1917 the promise of well-paying manufacturing jobs and a better life "up North" lured tens of thousands of rural, southern African-Americans, weary from struggles with racism and economic hardship, to the South Side of Chicago.

In the downtown Loop the hot spot for jazz was the Friar’s Inn, a basement cabaret where The New Orleans Rhythm Kings held forth.

Their exciting new music drew an odd mix of businessmen, gangsters and jazz-crazed high school students.

A growing entertainment district drew the best talent from New Orleans, Texas and the Mississippi Delta.

BONUS CONTENT Jazz Age Chicago could boast a rich mix of New Orleans jazz pioneers like Joe 'King' Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and a white group known as The New Orleans Rhythm Kings, plus the "Texas Blues" of Sippie Wallace and her boogie-woogie-playing brothers.

The agency’s vibe is unique for many reasons, but two are immediately obvious: it’s well placed geographically, in Fort Knox Studios, which is a crossroads of big name talent from Chicago and further afield–few industry players pass through Chicago without visiting Fort Knox.

And secondly,these influencers aren’t waiting for their ‘break’ to make change–they’re regularly building their city, from toy drive concerts at Christmas to hosting mental health safe spaces.


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