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Jazz Today, Jazz Tomorrow


1. National Center for History in the Schools, UCLA

2. NAfME: The National Association for Music Education

3. For information on ordering The Instrumental History of Jazz 2-CD set, click here.

4. Student handouts can be downloaded from the Jazz in America website and photocopied.

5. Any material from the Jazz in America website may be downloaded, printed, and/or made into a PowerPoint slide as the instructor sees fit.


  1. Jazz Today
  2. Jazz Tomorrow

National Standards for United States History1

Historical Thinking
Students should be able to:
  1. Reconstruct patterns of historical succession and duration in which historical developments have unfolded, and apply them to explain historical continuity and change. (Historical Comprehension Standard 2F).
  2. Appreciate historical perspectives – (a) describing the past on its own terms, through the eyes and experiences of those who were there, as revealed through their literature, diaries, letters, debates, arts, artifacts, and the like; (b) considering the historical context in which the event unfolded–the values, outlook, options, and contingencies of that time and place; and (c) avoiding “present-mindedness,” judging the past solely in terms of present-day norms and values (Historical Thinking Standard 1F).
  3. Draw upon the visual, literary, and musical sources, including (a) photographs, paintings, cartoons, and architectural drawings; (b) novels, poetry, and plays; and (c) folk, popular and classical music, to clarify, illustrate, or elaborate upon information presented in the historical narrative (Historical Comprehension Standard 2I).
  4. Draw comparisons across eras and regions in order to define enduring issuesas well as large-scale or long-term developments that transcend regional and temporal boundaries (Historical Analysis and Interpretation Standard 3D).
Historical Content
SStudents should understand the "Second Reconstruction" and its advancement of civil rights (Era 9: Postwar United States Standard 4A) and contemporary American culture (Era 10: Contemporary United States Standard 2D). Therefore, the student should be able to:
  1. Analyze the leadership and ideology of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X in the civil rights movement and evaluate their legacies.
  2. Evaluate the agendas, strategies, and effectiveness of various African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and Native Americans, as well as the disabled, in the quest for civil rights and equal opportunities.
  3. Explain the influence of the media on contemporary American culture.
  4. Explore the international influence of American culture.

National Standards for Music Education2

Artistic Process - Responding: Select, Analyze, Interpret, and Evaluate Music
  1. Choose music appropriate for specific purposes and contexts. – Select programs of music (such as a CD mix or live performances) and demonstrate the connections to an interest or experience for a specific purpose (MU:Re7.1.8a).
  2. Analyze how the structure and context of varied musical works inform the response. – Compare how the elements of music and expressive qualities relate to the structure within programs of music (MU:Re7.2.8a); Identify and compare the context of programs of music from a variety of genres, cultures, and historical periods (MU:Re7.2.8b).
  3. Support an interpretation of a musical work that reflects the creators’/performers’ expressive intent. – Support personal interpretation of contrasting programs of music and explain how creators or performers apply the elements of music and expressive qualities, within genres, cultures, and historical periods to convey expressive intent (MU:Re8.1.7a).
  4. Support evaluations of musical works and performance(s) based on analysis, interpretation, and established criteria. – Apply appropriate personally developed criteria to evaluate musical works or performances (MU:Re9.1.8a).
Artistic Process - Connecting: Select, Analyze, Interpret, and Evaluate Music
  1. Demonstrate how interests, knowledge, and skills relate to personal choices and intent when creating, performing, and responding to music (MU:Cn10.0.8a).
  2. Demonstrate understanding of relationships between music and the other arts, other disciplines, varied contexts, and daily life (MU:Cn11.0.8a).

The student will:
  1. gain a fundamental understanding of
    1. what is occurring on the jazz scene today
    2. what is likely to occur on the jazz scene in the near future
  2. explore how today’s jazz reflects American culture

  1. computer logged onto www.jazzinamerica.org
  2. LCD projector and screen
  3. CD player (optional)

  1. The Instrumental History of Jazz (IHJ)3 – optional
    1. two CDs
    2. accompanying booklet
  2. Student Handouts4 (one per student)
    1. chapter glossary>

The instructor will:
  1. distribute student handouts5
  2. discuss the styles of jazz that are being performed today and are likely to be performed in the near future
  3. discuss today’s jazz with regard to American culture and society
  4. play various recordings of current jazz artists

The students will:
  1. participate in a class discussion regarding today’s jazz
  2. participate in a class discussion regarding where jazz is likely heading
  3. participate in a class discussion regarding jazz as a part of current American society and culture
  4. listen to recordings of current jazz artists

Test Bank
  1. Multiple Choice Test
  2. Essay/Discussion Questions at the Teacher’s Discretion

Video Clips

videospacer Robert Glasper Experiment – Afro Blue
videospacer Virtual Jazz Ensemble – The Jazz Police
the Herbie Hancock institute of jazz
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