Images of America ~ Philadelphia Jazz

Many scholars have traced improvised music in Philadelphia back through ragtime to the prominent Black orchestras that played quadrilles and marches for high-society dances in the 19th century, with one of the most famous led by Philadelphian Francis "Frank" Johnson. The Black migrations from the South to the North after World War I carried performers and their music to Chicago; New York City; Washington, DC; and Philadelphia. Musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane came from the Carolinas and started careers in Philadelphia, while homegrown talent from the city's multiethnic neighborhoods--including violinist Joe Venuti, saxophonists Jimmy Heath and Charlie Ventura, organists Shirley Scott and Trudy Pitts, and pianist McCoy Tyner--made the world take notice of the musical gifts that contributed to the celebrated Philly sound. Philadelphia Jazz celebrates the immense contributions that the city's jazz community has made to America's true classical music.