The Gift (1917-1924)

Season 1, Episode 2 of 10

The second episode is set during the tumultuous era known as the " Jazz Age," when the rhythms and spirit of jazz music mirror the world that emerged in the wake of World War I. The program introduces two extraordinary individuals whose lives will be interwoven throughout the rest of the series: the brilliant bandleader and composer Duke Ellington and the virtuoso New Orleans-born cornetist Louis Armstrong, who single-handedly transforms jazz from ensemble music to a soloist' s art. This episode follows black bandleader and WWI hero James Reese Europe and his Harlem regiment to the war in France and back home again. In the l920s, jazz enters American living rooms through radio and phonograph records. The migration of millions of African Americans from the South to the North helps create a receptive audience for the new music -- especially evident on the south side of Chicago. White musicians, entranced by the recordings and the music they hear in Chicago's night clubs, begin to make their mark on jazz.

Previously Aired

9 p.m.
1 a.m.
3 p.m.
Arizona Public Media is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona