Jazz has evolved as an art form and cultural movement that was borne out of particular American experiences--a unique combination of European melodies and instruments with African-American rhythms and interpretation was created. While jazz has its roots in the African-American experience and its early days were very much defined by black-white divisions, at the same time it has played an instrumental role in breaking these social barriers and has evolved more so to the present day. The evolution of jazz as an art form is representative of American society and racial politics. In creating this musical space in our unique national landscape, jazz has transformed the vernacular. Jazz is the articulation of contemporary national culture. A true, indigenous cultural art form has developed and matured.
The National Jazz Museum will illuminate the musical, racial, cultural, economic and historic factors that created and continue to re-create this important American music. The institution will be an interactive, educational, and dynamic cultural center where local, national, and international visitors can experience this art form.
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