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James Reese Europe conducts the 369th Infantry Regiment band as they perform for wounded soldiers outside of a hospital in France, during WWI. (1918) – Library of Congress

As Americans (and people all over the world) push through and do our best to adjust our lives to the new realities that the COVID-19 pandemic is showing us, now more than ever, many could use the healing art that music often provides during times of distress.

Along comes jazz… and blues. While both are considered to be American music, which came first? Much like the chicken and the egg, we may never agree on that, but we can reap the benefits, regardless. With roots in American chattel slavery, both incorporate African rhythms and styles, which along the way have been built upon to give us additional genres such as R&B, rock and roll, and rap.

Bottom line, they each tell a story of the history of America along the way. Watch this video, which gives some of that history, and hopefully afterwards you will feel entertained, educated, and elevated by the brief episode of healing – through music. Don’t forget to #sharetheknowledge, and don’t forget to wash your hands. šŸ˜‰

Stay tuned. šŸ¦†šŸ¦†šŸ¦†šŸ¦†šŸ¦†

Billy Taylor’s take on jazz… and blues.