The bellowing list is ten of the most important of early jazz. At the beginning of the 1900s, the initiation of these musicians laid the foundation for jazz to develop to the vibrant art form it is today.
- Scott Joplin (1868-1917)
Scott Joplin is known as the first composer of ragtime music. Many of his pieces of music such as “The Entertainer” and “Maple Leaf Rag,” were published and sold in many countries. Despite being based on European classical music, ragtime led to the development of the music style known as stride piano, which is one of the foremost forms of jazz.
- Buddy Bolden (1877-1931)
Buddy Bolden, a trumpet player with loud tone and emphasis on improvisation, is credited with bringing a raw and loose approach to instrumental jazz. He changed the way jazz composers orchestrated their music by infusing ragtime with the black church music and the blues and organizing ensembles consisting of brass instruments and clarinets.
- King Oliver (1885-1938)
The famous bandleader King Oliver was also Louis Armstrong’s teacher and launched Armstrong’s career by featuring him in his band. He played with many great early jazz musicians such as Jelly Roll Morton. He was known for turning down a regular gig at New York’s Cotton Club in 1927.
- Nick LaRocca (1889-1961)
LaRocca was the cornetist and trumpeter and also the leader of the Original Dixieland Jass Band (later named the Original Dixieland Jazz Band). The band consisted of drums, trombone, piano, clarinet, cornet and made the first jazz recordings in 1917.
- Jelly Roll Morton (1890-1941)
Jelly Roll Morton was a prolific performer who began by playing in New Orleans brothels. He combined ragtime music with many other musical styles like blues, Hispanic music, minstrel show tunes, and white popular songs. His mixture of composition and improvisation and his virtuosity at the piano had a lasting effect on jazz performance.