Institutionalizing a Popular Music: “Caravan” as an Exemplary Piece of Jazz

The dissemination of Jazz through different outlets of media, such as radio and movies, provides a representation of the continuously evolving ethos of the genre as it goes from a popular music facing conflicts in how it is seen on paper to an “art” music that allows for artistic liberty to be expressed by those playing whether they are big time artists or students of Jazz. The liberty embraced by these artists is one that would allow a certain freedom to adapt and play tunes the way they saw fit. This evolving and ever-changing dynamic within Jazz can be heard through the song “Caravan” by Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol as its representation and distribution within the Jazz realm has proven to be iconic and representative of Jazz nature, which is one that speaks towards the improvisational habits that musicians choose to embrace.

This website, will be exploring the evolution of how Jazz has become a high-class “art-style” genre of music in an institutionalized setting from being one of the nation’s most popular forms of music during the early-mid 20th Century.

I will be using the movie Whiplash (2014) as a representation of the dichotomous nature Jazz holds amongst the music community in terms of its history and how it has gotten to the point where it is today.

Whiplash trailer.

Related image

Original Master for “Caravan”