The demand for bands and orchestras to fill ballrooms across America led to better organized, more professional groups and huge instrument sales. Records and later the radio helped such bands as the Paul Whiteman Orchestra achieve national acclaim.
New Orleans, with its black and white musical traditions, gave birth to jazz. Unlike the strict structures of ragtime, jazz meant improvisation. The New Orleans sound traveled up the Mississippi to such places as St. Louis, Missouri, and Davenport, Iowa, eventually crossing over to Chicago. In the “Roaring Twenties,” white audiences flocked to “Negro” nightclubs in Chicago and New York to catch the latest jazz.
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