Timeline of African American Music
Secular Instrumental

Traditional Jazz

Back to timeline

Carnegie Hall Jazz Band: Eastwood After Hours - A Night of Jazz

Photo by Steve J. Sherman
Carnegie Hall Jazz Band: Eastwood After Hours - A Night of Jazz
Hesitation
Wynton Marsalis
Simply Stated
Terence Blanchard
Royal Garden Blues
Branford Marsalis
Black Nile
Jeff “Tain” Watts
New Orleans Blues
Marcus Roberts
Whisper Not
Roy Hargrove
The Vibe
Roy Hargrove Quintet
Gettin’ to It
Christian McBride

Themes

  • Entertainment
  • Black Power/Pride

Musical Features

  • Rhythms
  • Riffs
  • Instrumentals
  • Vocals

Instruments

  • Bass
  • Drums
  • Electric Guitar
  • Guitar
  • Horn
  • Other Percussion
  • Piano
  • Saxophone
  • Strings
  • Trumpet
  • Woodwinds

In the early 1980s, hard bop inspired the artistic directions of a new group of young musicians who opposed the new developments—fusion and avant-garde—of the 1960s and 1970s. Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Billy Pierce, Charles Fambrough, and Mulgrew Miller advocated a return to hard bop and joined forces with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in “Falling in Love With Love.”

Context and History

“We [Jazz at Lincoln Center] attempt to embrace both the legacy and the future of jazz so the history of jazz is present in what is currently being played.”
Wynton MarsalisJazz Trumpeter and Artistic Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center

Another group of young musicians known as “Young Lions” or “New Traditionalists” continued to draw inspiration from former traditions, merging concepts from bebop, cool, and hard bop with their own innovations. Roy Hargrove in “Proclamation” (1989), along with Terence Blanchard, Marcus Roberts, Jeff Watts, and Christian McBride, are a part of this group. With yet other aspirations, Wynton Marsalis continued his mission to preserve the nation’s jazz heritage through his work with Jazz at Lincoln Center, which he co-founded in 1987. In 1991, he became the artistic director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, organized in 1988. His focus on the classic repertoire from the pre-1960s eras and the exclusion of avant-garde, free jazz styles, and more contemporary expressions has generated some criticism.

Musical Features/Performance Style

This music returns to the style and features associated with the pre-1960s tradition.

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers
Wynton Marsalis
Terence Blanchard
Branford Marsalis
Mulgrew Miller
Roy Hargrove Quintet
Marcus Roberts
Jeff “Tain” Watts
Christian McBride
Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers

Bibliography

  1. Gourse, Leslie. Wynton Marsalis: Skain’s Domain: A Biography. New York: Schirmer Books, 1999.
Carnegie Hall Logo White

The Timeline of African American Music by Portia K. Maultsby, Ph.D. presents the remarkable diversity of African American music, revealing the unique characteristics of each genre and style, from the earliest folk traditions to present-day popular music.

Learn More
Jessye Norman

Carnegie Hall’s interactive Timeline of African American Music is dedicated to the loving memory of the late soprano and recitalist Jessye Norman.

© 2008 Richard Termine

Special thanks to Dr. Portia K. Maultsby and to the Advisory Scholars for their commitment and thought-provoking contributions to this resource.

Neh Logo

The Timeline of African American Music has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. The project is also supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

© 2022 Carnegie Hall