American jazz served as the foundation for rock and roll music.  American jazz is explored in the discussion this week. 

Select one jazz composer that is not covered in the course text. (These are some in the text:  Scott Joplin, Sippie Wallace, Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Louis Armstrong, and Jelly Roll Morton.) Write the post from the perspective of the chosen composer. Discuss the style of his or her music. Explain how this composer influenced the development of jazz.  Also show how his or her contributions have impacted popular American music. 

Write from the composer’s perspective–using first person voice. Do not just include a biography of the composer. The focus is to be on the style of music, contributions to the evolution of jazz music, and the impact this composer’s music has had on popular American music.Include a YouTube link featuring a performance of the composer’s music. Write in your own words.  Cite all sources/provide links to your source. Initial posts are to be a minimum of 250 words.


1.  Hello, I am Duke Ellington. I was born April 1899 and was raised by two very talented parents. I have been in the music industry for more than half a century, and I like to think that I have brought many great things to the table with my music. I tend to lean towards more of a western music sound that I call “American Music” (Biography Editors, 2020). I wrote my first composition, “Soda Fountain Rag”, when I was 15. I was eventually awarded an art scholarship to the Pratt institute in Brooklyn, New York, but turned it down. At 17 I decided to follow my passion and I began to play professionally. In the 1920’s I was the bandleader of a sextet, which eventually turned into a 10-piece ensemble. After making a bunch of video recordings of my band, I had the opportunity to tour Europe twice in the 1930’s. In the 1940’s is when my career really started to take off. I composed “Concerto for Cootie”, “Cotton Tail” and “Ko-Ko”. I had quite a few hits during this decade. 

Ellington’s stood out compared to many others due to his sense of musical drama. “His blend of melodies, rhythms and subtle sonic movements gave audiences a new experience—complex yet accessible jazz that made the heart swing” (Biography Editors, 2020). He had a different way of approaching the composition of music and everyone latched onto it. He later died in 1974 from lung cancer and pneumonia. 

“Music is how I live, why I live and how I will be remembered.” – Duke Ellington

Example Composition:


2.  I’m Chick Corea, I was born Armando Anthony Corea  June 12 1941 in Chelsea, Massachusetts. I gained the nickname “chick” after an aunt of mine called me Cheeky. My interest in music started early in life as my father was a jazz trumpeter who led a band in the ’30s and ’40s.  I began playing piano at the age of four and by eight I had taken up drums as well. I’ve spent my entire life performing or composing jazz music with very little in the way of a music based education.  I had moved to New York to pursue this path at Columbia University, but I left after a month and tried out Julliard School.  I didn’t fair much better there as I was still disappointed and left after six months. When people ask what I’ve contributed to the world of jazz music I just laugh a little.  I don’t like to brag but I’ve composed and performed music in the styles of fusion, straight ahead,  avant-garde, bebop, chamber music.  I’ve even dabbled in children’s songs and some symphonic pieces. Throughout my career I’ve undergone several reinventions, hence all the styles. Apparently I’m striking a cord with different audiences since I’ve been awarded 23 Grammys and nominated 65 times making me the 4th most nominated artist. In addition to the 23, I’ve won 3 Latin American Grammys. Id like to think I’ve had a positive impact of the jazz genre and will try to continue well into the future.