Harlem Renaissance And The Popularity Of Jazz Music

There was a profound shift in the cultural landscape of America at the turn of the 20th century when black people started to assert their rights. This was followed by developments in the field of literature and music, especially jazz. The cultural center of this movement was Harlem and Christianity was leveraged as the binding force to keep the people united. Religious congregations were a major source of community-building exercises and music was an integral part of the life. The continuing demand for Harlem gospel choir tickets is a testament to this.

Beginning Of The Renaissance

The roots of the Harlem Renaissance lay in the Great Migration of black people from rural to urban areas. Many people migrated from the South to the North in search of a better life and opportunities. Black people also came from distant places like former European colonies such as the Caribbean Most black people started settling around New York City. With increasing settlements began the mingling of people from different backgrounds and cultures and thus began the development of a unique culture that culminated in the Harlem Renaissance. The literacy levels raised dramatically during this period and this brought awareness among the community related to race relations and human rights. People from all walks of life came together to form associations that ensued the civil rights movement of the 1940s and 1950s. This gradually opened new socio-economic opportunities for the black people and they started proving their mettle.

During this time, Harlem became the center of attraction where people gathered to discuss ideas. Several black intellectuals and talented musicians settled in Harlem and thus began the journey from a quiet town to a happening nightlife destination. The cultural exchange was most visibly manifested with jazz in Harlem. The foot-tapping and melodious jazz music became a worldwide sensation during this time. The pulse of the Harlem Renaissance was captured by jazz and blues music with the use of instruments like trumpets and saxophones. The songs were an expression of the cultural milieu of the time and conveyed the perspective of the Black working class in general.  Nevertheless, some amazing songs were composed during this period and it was the golden age of jazz music.

How Did Jazz Become So Popular?

Jazz music originated from the Blues. The latter was made popular by artists like Mamie Smith (of Crazy Blues fame), Alberta Hunter, and Clara Smith. After the first world war, a new form of improvisational music was developed from the blues music which came to be known as jazz. This musical form was influenced by European harmonic structure as well as African rhythmic beats. The music was characterized by improvisation, deliberate pitch deviations, and the use of original timbres. The use of instruments like the trumpet gave an exciting touch to jazz music and Louis Armstrong, the master jazz trumpeter became a household name. The melodious tune of jazz music gripped the whole world and made it immensely popular everywhere.

Jazz Music: Current Trends

The beauty of jazz music is that there’s no set pattern to it and yet it is easily recognized the moment you listen to it. Since artists take a lot of liberties during a jazz performance, jazz has charted its own course in the decades passed. Modern jazz has taken inspiration from classical jazz and imbibed the musical traditions of other cultures at the same time. Modern jazz artists use elements of fusion and classical jazz to create a beautiful rhythm. Prominent among them are gospel choirs, an ensemble that performs music based on praise and worship of the Lord. The choirs are really popular and Harlem gospel choir tickets are sold at a premium.

The music fills your heart and soul with joy and you are left with a sense of satisfaction afterwards. The energy of these concerts is highly infectious and you can’t help yourself taping your feet to the rhythmic beats of the songs. The songs are thrilling and the vocals are strong. Along with the instruments and orchestra, the whole ambiance becomes surreal.


Harlem became the catalyst for the paradigm cultural shift that took place in America after the first world war. Black people from different parts of the country especially the south as well as from nearby European colonies like the Caribbean islands, started migrating to urban areas in the north of America and settled around New York. By the 1930s, Harlem was a major black settlement and a melting point of different cultures. There were great developments in the field of music during this time and the emergence of blues and jazz music became a worldwide sensation. Jazz in Harlem has come a long way since then, with the evolution of the musical genre into modern jazz where different cultural influences have been incorporated to create beautiful musical performances that are heart-touching. Gospel choirs have taken jazz music to a whole new level with their strong vocals and energetic rendition of songs.