Chicago Musical Essays

Chicago Musical Essays-3
Here's my Chicago essay exactly as I submitted it (typos included).

Out on the pavement, too young to get inside, kids from Austin High School like Jimmy Mc Partland, Dave Tough and Eddie Condon kept hoping someone would open the door so they could listen in.

Recalling the heady atmosphere of the great musical "melting pot" in Jazz Age Chicago, with a script based on historical and biographical written accounts and recordings, Jim Cullum and the Band lead off with a high energy performance of Joe Oliver's classic, called "Too Late." With Shelly Berg on piano, Topsy Chapman sings blues composed by native Texan Sippie Wallace, plus "Chicago Bound," a song identified with Ida Cox, also known as "The Famous Migration Blues." The self-proclaimed "inventor of jazz," pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton, was at the center of the 1920s' Chicago jazz scene.

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.

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.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.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.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.These tribe members are hooked in to Chicago’s mainline, embodying the grit that is responsible for the city’s reputation of musical prestige. But being the number one murder capital in the country isn’t so good either.”“We aren’t angry that business and creativity have become one.They’ve battled against racial stereotypes, weaved their way out of becoming socio-economic statistics, and have emerged as the acts responsible for some of the world’s more timeless tracks.“I remember when were in New York and people heard we were from Chicago. Some people do business, some play the artist game. Take streaming; streaming services have created new avenues. They haven’t got record deals, but now they have the ability to be seen.And Vernel sings one of Jelly's lesser-known compositions, a love song, called "Why?" In the Twenties Chicagoans listened and danced to jazz in all sorts of settings.


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