Ever heard of the RAZZY DAZZY SPASM BAND? Believe it or not, this group existed in New Orleans in the late 1890’s. “spasm” has a sexual connotation (sperm), Rocketlike action. SPUNK, JUMP, “FLOUNCE”. Such action words were used at parties, weddings, funerals, and especially at Xmas celebrations in the Caribbean and South America. Describing the actions of “folk” dancing and singing to the beat of drums, contorting their bodies as though conjugating in public! The Bible toting prelates raised their hands in chastising fashion. The speed and agility of the participants attracted crowds of onlookers, and imitators who jumped into the ring of participants to show “their” stuff. Who were these people, and where did they come from?
Africans, who came to the New World as slaves and brought their traditional musical “spunk/Jump” talents for all to see. This music was done by “street” folks, raw talent, with no sophisticated instruments. It entered the dance halls and juke joints in New Orleans. What is now “line dancing” had an early marriage where “swing” was infiltrated by this African “jump/sperm” music. By the 1920’s, it was not “gism” or “jism”, but straight out, JAZZ!
Born in America, and the only music the republic can claim as its own. This year 2020, JAZZ is 100 years old. A class action suit for royalties to be paid to all Africans who can trace their parentage to New Orleans of the 1890’s, should be filed.
The National Association for Music Education (NAME) showcased The Maryland 2020 ALL STATE SENIOR (High School) JAZZ BAND, which coincided within Black History Month. Mariama Boney is the outgoing Executive Director of NAME:
And now for your viewing pleasure, in performance at UMBC (University of Md. Baltimore County):
The Maryland All State Senior Jazz Band, conducted by Steve Fidyk.