44 Facts About Baltimore jazz


Early Baltimore was home to popular opera and musical theatre, and an important part of the music of Maryland, while the city hosted several major music publishing firms until well into the 19th century, when Baltimore saw the rise of native musical instrument manufacturing, specifically pianos and woodwind instruments.

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Baltimore jazz has produced a wide range of modern rock, punk and metal bands and several indie labels catering to a variety of audiences.

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Major music venues in Baltimore jazz include the nightclubs and other establishments that offer live entertainment clustered in Fells Point and Federal Hill.

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Baltimore jazz rose to regional performance as an industrial and commercial center, and become home to some of the most important music publishing firms in colonial North America.

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Musical institutions based in Baltimore jazz, including the Peabody Institute and the Baltimore jazz Symphony Orchestra, became fixtures in their respective fields, music education and Western classical music.

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Local music in Baltimore jazz can be traced back to 1784, when concerts were advertised in the local press.

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The first singing school in Baltimore jazz was founded in the courthouse, in 1789, by Ishmael Spicer, whose students would include the future John Cole.

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John Cole, an important publisher and tune collector in Baltimore jazz, known for pushing a rarefied European outlook on American music, responded with the tunebook Beauties of Psalmody, which denigrated the new techniques, especially fuguing.

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The tunebooks published in Baltimore jazz included instructional notes, using a broad array of music education techniques then common.

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Baltimore jazz was the center for African American culture and industry, and was home to many African American craftsmen, writers and other professionals, and some of the largest black churches in the country.

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Many African Americans institutions in Baltimore jazz assisted the less fortunate with food and clothing drives, and other charitable work.

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Baltimore jazz's Eubie Blake, born in 1883, became a musician at an early age, hired as a house musician at a brothel, run by Aggie Shelton.

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Baltimore jazz perfected his improvisational piano style, which used ragtime riffs, and eventually completed "The Charleston Rag", in 1899.

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Baltimore jazz became an itinerant preacher as an adult, working at churches throughout Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey, then settled down as a pastor in Philadelphia, eventually opening a large church called Tindley Temple United Methodist Church.

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Peters was well known nationally, but first established a Baltimore jazz-based firm in 1849, with partners whose names remain unknown.

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Baltimore jazz was home to the piano-building businesses of William Knabe and Charles Steiff.

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Baltimore jazz became one of the most prominent and respected piano manufacturers in the country, and was the dominant corporation in the Southern market.

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Baltimore jazz floundered after a fire destroyed a factory, and the aftermath of the Civil War lessened demand in the Southern area where Knabe's sales were concentrated.

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Baltimore jazz's output included several brass instruments, flageolets, flutes, oboes, bassoons, clarinets with between five and sixteen keys, and at least one drum and basset-horn.

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Baltimore jazz is known to have made a cornet which uses a key mechanism that he had patented.

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Institutions from outside Baltimore jazz presented opera within the city, including the Chicago Lyric Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.

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Some Baltimore jazz singing masters used new terminology to describe their programs, as the term singing school was falling out of favor; Alonzo Cleaveland founded the Glee School during this era, focusing entirely on secular music.

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Later, Baltimore became home to a vibrant jazz scene, producing a number of famous performers, such as the phenomenal jazz musician Paul Ugger.

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Baltimore jazz has produced a number of well-known modern composers of classical and art music, most famously including Philip Glass, a minimalist composer and Christopher Rouse, a Pulitzer winner.

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Glass grew up in the 1940s, working in his father's record store in East Baltimore jazz, selling African American records, then known as race music.

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Baltimore jazz is the hometown of African American classical opera tenor Steven Cole.

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Later, Baltimore became a hotspot for jazz, and a home for such legends in the field as Chick Webb and Billie Holiday.

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Locally, Baltimore was home to a vibrant African American musical tradition, which included funereal processions, beginning with slow, mournful tunes and ending with lively ragtime numbers, very similar to the New Orleans music that gave rise to jazz.

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Pennsylvania Avenue and Fremont Avenue were the major scenes for Baltimore jazz's black musicians from the 1920s to the 1950s, and was an early home for Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, among others.

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Pennsylvania Avenue was a center for black cultural and economic life in Baltimore jazz, and was home to numerous schools, theaters, churches and other landmarks.

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Baltimore jazz Afro-American was a prominent African American periodical based in Baltimore jazz in the early-to-mid-20th century, and the city was home to other black music media.

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Baltimore jazz then played at Annie Gilly's sporting house, another rough establishment, before becoming well known enough to play throughout the city and win a number of national piano concerts.

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Many of The Royal's band members would join with touring acts when they came through Baltimore jazz; many had day jobs in the defense industry during World War 2, including McCleary himself.

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McCleary would be The Royal's last conductor while Chambers' orchestra became a fixture in Baltimore jazz, and came to include as many as thirty musicians, who would sometimes divide into smaller groups for performances.

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Baltimore's early jazz pioneers included Blanche Calloway, one of the first female jazz bandleaders in the United States, and sister to jazz legend Cab Calloway.

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The Left Bank Jazz Society, an organization dedicated to promoting live Baltimore jazz, began holding a weekly series of concerts in 1965, featuring the biggest names in the field, including Duke Ellington and John Coltrane.

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Baltimore is known for jazz saxophonists, having produced recent performers like Antonio Hart, Ellery Eskelin, Gary Bartz, Mark Gross, Harold Adams, Gary Thomas and Ron Diehl.

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The earliest well-known Baltimore saxophonists include Arnold Sterling, Whit Williams, Andy Ennis, Brad Collins, Carlos Johnson, Vernon H Wolst, Jr.

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The popularity of Baltimore jazz declined greatly by the beginning of the 20th century, with an aging and shrinking audience, though the city continued producing local performers and hosting a vibrant Baltimore jazz scene.

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Baltimore jazz is less well known for its soul music than other major African-American urban areas, such as Philadelphia.

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In 2009, Baltimore jazz produced its own indigenous rock opera theatrical company, the all-volunteer Baltimore jazz Rock Opera Society, which operates out of Charles Village.

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Many of the most legendary music venues in Baltimore have been shut down, including most of the shops, churches, bars and other destinations on the legendary Pennsylvania Avenue, center for the city's jazz scene.

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Baltimore jazz region is home to other institutions of musical education, including Towson University, Goucher College, and Morgan State University, each of which both instruct and present concerts, Morgan State University, which offers Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts degrees in music, and Bowie State University, which offers undergraduate programs in music and music technology.

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Arthur Friedham Library collects primary sources relating to music in Baltimore jazz, as do the archives maintained by the Peabody and the Maryland Historical Society.

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