To African Americans in the late nineteenth century, one literal sound of freedom was that of the military marching bands of the American Civil War. This music, combined with the Ragtime and blues styles that developed some time later, evolved to form one of the truly indigenous art forms of the United States. The "jas," or the Creole brothel, is thought to have been the birthplace as well as the namesake of the new sound of Jazz. Early traditional Jazz combined the complexity of Ragtime, the tight arrangement of marching band music, and the inventive, free spirit of the blues. It incorporated structured improvisations at its center while the band maintained a swing. The sound evolved dramatically throughout the twentieth century in various forms: from the New York City Bebop of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker to the Free Jazz of the Art Ensemble of Chicago; from the Fusion of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock to the Hard Bop of Art Blakey. But throughout Jazz's great explorations, it has kept improvisation at its center, and as such it has always remained a music of freedom.
Jazz Musicians: Miles Davis, Arturo Sandoval, Maynard Ferguson, Louis Armstrong, Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Russell Gunn, Wallace Roney, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Kermit Ruffins, Chet Baker, Erik Truffaz, Rick Braun, Philip Dizack, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Farmer, Al Hirt, Herb Alpert, William "Lee" Hogans, Don Cherry, Roy Eldridge, Dave Douglas, Astrud Gilberto, Sonny Rollins, Don Braden, David Sanborn, Billy Childs, Charles Mingus, Diana Krall, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Bob Berg, David "Fathead" Newman, Ben Webster, Art Blakey, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Dexter Gordon, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Donald Byrd, Ornette Coleman, Max Roach, Gene Krupa, Jimmy Cleveland, Donald Malloy, Stan Getz, Clifford Brown, Alex Sipiagin, Corey Wilkes, and Harry Connick Jr.