An Idiot’s Guide to Jazz


Sometimes a spark comes out of the darkness and lights a fire that sets those who suffer free. In those words lie the story of Jazz; the art that revolutionized Western music and changed the music industry forever.

Jazz is a popular music genre that originated in New Orleans, USA. Arising mainly as a fusion between African-American blues and swing and European-American military and classical music, jazz is a hybrid combination that is expressive of both its parents.

Image from documentary tube

The word Jazz was first spelled J-A-S-S, and it is believed to have come from ‘jasm,’ which is a slang word meaning energy or pep. However, due to its relation to African Americans, jazz was frowned upon when it first appeared and was seen as inferior by Caucasians. Years later, it became popular among the entire nation, regardless of race.

Jazz became so influential to the extent that it deeply impacted American literature. This is shown especially in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works like the Tales of the Jazz Age and The Great Gatsby.

Image from Alma Books

According to musicians, jazz is difficult to define due to its variety and diversity; it boasts many forms, such as classical jazz and cool jazz, which both appeared after World War II, as well as traditional jazz, free jazz, Latin jazz, oriental jazz, and many more. However, what makes it special is that unlike other types of music, jazz music is characterized by swing notes and blues with a great deal of improvisation, as well as the ability to be influenced by music from different countries.

Some of the musicians you already know are renowned jazz figures, including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Lil Hardin Armstrong.

Image from

More than 100 years later, the spark never faded and jazz remains one of the most widely celebrated art forms in the world.

Latest Articles

40 per cent of Egypt’s Population Under Age of 18

New findings released by Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics shed light on the scale of the country's youth bulge and the continuing prevalence of underage marriage.

Read More

Ziad Rahbany and Souad Massi to Perform in Egypt

This November, Egyptians will get the chance to see Souad Massi and Ziad Rahbany perform across a number of venues in Cairo.

Read More

"The Angel" Reviewed: Missed opportunity in overly sentimental spy-thriller

Much controversy surrounded the release of The Angel on Netflix back in September. Safe to say that most, if not all, the controversy came from within Egypt.

Read More

Spotify Finally Arrives in Egypt

On the 14th of November 2018, the world’s biggest and most popular music streaming service, Spotify, finally launched across the Middle East and North Africa.

Read More

همس النجوم: مجموعة قصصية لنجيب محفوظ تنشر لأول مرة

أعلنت دار الساقى لنشر انها هتنشر مجموعة قصصية للأديب الراحل نجيب محفوظ لأول مرة تحت عنوان "همس النجوم" و دة بعد ما وجد الكاتب محمد شعير القصص بخط ايد محفوظ خلال رحلة بحثه فى أوراق مهمة.

Read More

Page 1 of 163