If you’re new to the jazz scene, you might be curious about what hot jazz is. So let’s answer your question.  According to Collins Dictionary, hot jazz is described as:

Jazz which is extremely emotionally intense and features a lot of improvisation.

Now, considering this definition, you could say that almost all jazz is like that; beautiful, improvised, and emotional. However, for the cool cats, the classic jazz lovers, we have another term for hot jazz; Dixieland jazz!

Hot, Dixieland Jazz

That’s right!

Hot jazz isn’t some special, niche form of jazz. It’s another name for the classic style of jazz that became popular all over the world for its fierce improvisations and energetic tempos. Made popular in part, thanks to Louis Armstrong and other jazz musicians, hot jazz was considered an integral component of the New York and Chicago music scene.

In fact, until swing jazz came into the picture, hot jazz was regarded as a staple for all celebrations, up until the 1930s.

The Origins of Hot Jazz

Hot jazz has roots in New Orleans. Created in the early 1900s, this style of jazz was made by blending blues and ragtime tunes, with a hefty bit of brass band marches thrown in.man playing saxophone

Originally played for community events, jazz made its way as the preferred music for numerous celebrations as well. In actual fact, jazz was even played at funerals. Musicians would walk along the processions, playing jazz tunes to signify the departed’s love for life.

Primarily loved for its freedom for improvisation in composition, hot jazz or Dixieland jazz gave many musicians the chance to broaden their range. This is why we have so many sub-genres of jazz. During those times, musicians improvised on the tunes that were categorized as Dixieland jazz tunes, making melodies that suited the mood.

Instruments of Hot Jazz

A hot jazz ensemble chiefly consists of the classic instruments; the trumpet, trombone, tuba, clarinet, drums and the banjo. The trumpet takes center-stage for majority of the music, since it produces the highest pitch. The drums and the banjo keep the music steady, providing a beat, whereas the trombone and clarinet add some special frills, allowing the melody to ebb and flow.

Classic Hot Jazz Music

For those interested, the most popular songs that embodied the spirit of hot jazz are:

  • Snag it by King Oliver
  • West End Blues/ Wille the Weeper by Louis Armstrong
  • Black Bottom Stomp by Jelly-Roll Morton

However, if you want to have a full experience with this style of music, we do have another option in mind!

Listen to a Live Performance!

For your next event, why not hire a live jazz band?

Razzmajazz offers jazz music for all events, from corporate get-togethers to parties to weddings. Whatever your celebration is, we’re sure that our style of hot jazz or Dixieland jazz would add the perfect touch of fun to it!

Contact us today at (877) 218-1148. We play in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and numerous other areas in Northern Texas!