History of Jazz

Big Band Music: Postwar to Present

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Big bands continued to be popular throughout the 1940s, but the 1950s marked a decline in the raging popularity and sheer number of big bands. The big bands that continued seemed to change with the times, reflecting the influences of bebop, 20th-century art music, cool jazz, and pop and rock styles.

Important big band musicians of this period are Stan Kenton, Thad Jones, Buddy Rich, and Maynard Ferguson. Other well-known bandleaders and musicians of the postwar big band era include: bandleaders Rob McConnell, Maria Schneider, and Toshiko Akiyoshi, baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, tenor saxophonist Bill Holman, and trumpeter Doc Severinsen.

Did you know?

  • Trumpeter Doc Severinsen performed and led the Tonight Show Band for over 20 years. Drummer Buddy Rich appeared on the show frequently as well.

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