Did you know that five WWI African American Army Bands are credited with pioneering the emergence of jazz music in America and throughout the world? The most famous was James Reese Europe and the 369th Harlem Hellfighters who became international celebrities and known in Europe as the “King of Jazz”. They changed music for all time! Listen to the music clip in the link below and hear the difference in articulation and ornamentation and interpretation between a Victor Military Band, a traditional professional band, play W.C. Handy’s “Memphis Blues” for the first 30 seconds and then at 35 seconds, the Harlem Hellfighters play the same notes of the same song:

Learn more about these inspiring Jazz Music pioneers here: