Jazz music has been making waves for a long time. Even in the decades where mainstream popularity was limited, the genre continued to evolve, grow and gain momentum. Today, jazz music encompasses a vast variety of playing styles and has been adopted as the genre of choice by renowned musicians across the globe.

One of the jazz styles that has enjoyed particular success and seems to be making a comeback is 1920s Jazz. Also known as original or traditional jazz, 1920s jazz includes styles such as Dixieland, swing and ragtime among others.

Millennials and Trad Jazz


As a live jazz band that has been playing trad jazz for decades, one of the things we have witnessed firsthand is a change in the kind of audience we receive. Where a decade or so ago, our audience were primarily from the generation of Boomers or Xers, we have seen a sudden spike in the number of millennials taking interest in the musical form.

Though we were thrilled by this, we were also curious about what triggered this sudden desire to listen to and understand the genre so we asked around. Here are some of the things we learned that make millennials want to listen to jazz styles that fall under the 1920s or trad jazz umbrella.

The Need for Soul

With all the strange and dare we say shallow pop music dominating the airwaves today, millennials are starting to look for music with a little more substance. Repetitive electrically produced track lines and auto tuned vocals just don’t seem to cut it anymore.

Millennials today are in search of music with more heart, more soul and more substance. Traditional jazz, offers all three.

An Education in Music

  man playing saxophone

Apart from the search for music which is more real, another thing that attracts many millennials to the style of traditional jazz is the fact that the same is historically relevant. Everything from the origins of jazz music to the way it evolved as well as those who contributed to the genre is of both historical and musical importance.

Young musicians as well as serious millennial music enthusiasts often turn to traditional jazz for lessons in music and how the same can evolve.

Its Timeless

A lot of modern musicians are starting to compose music in original jazz styles. They do this for the same reason that millennials the world over find the genre attractive— traditional jazz is timeless.

Where certain genres like say disco-tech might come with an expiry date, traditional jazz is one for the ages. It is this timeless quality of any artistic endeavor worth attention that makes more and more millennials take an interest.

It is Soothing

Traditional jazz offers a lot of soothing music which is brilliant for easy listening. This quality though once appreciated by earlier generations is currently also one of the reasons that millennials are turning to this style of jazz.

It is Raw

The best thing about trad jazz and the versatility it offers is that it can be as raw and real as it is soothing and relaxing. Many millennials crave the unabashed energetic tunes that traditional jazz has to offer. Rife with emotion and not overly processed, the rawness of trad jazz is yet another attribute that makes it a popular choice among millennials.

Winding Down

 Lakewood Bar and Grill

There you have it folks! Five things about 1920s jazz that make it truly attractive for a large number of millennials today!

If you’re looking to sample a taste of some good old 1920s jazz, connect with our live jazz band. If you’re located in Dallas – TX or anywhere else in the state, we’d be happy to help you experience what original jazz is all about!