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Thursday, May 16, 2013

ALL THAT JAZZ ~ guest post from Janet Fox, author of SIRENS

You guys.
I don't know if I mentioned in my Book Chat on Buzzwords and Deal Breakers that anything associated with the '20s is totally buzzworthy to me. Any combination of the words "flappers," "roaring," "speakeasy" (and any of the associated vernacular), "jazz age", and "art deco" just does something to my brain.  I have not one, but two flapper costumes in my closet. Many a feathered fascinator has graced my head.
jazz hands gif, cat picture
There were better examples of jazz hands gifs. 
I have no regrets.

It all makes me quite grabby hands.
Jazzy hands?

Whatever, the point is, it doesn't take much to convince me to take part in some flapper-ish loving.

So today, as part of the blog tour for Sirens, Janet Fox, author of the '20slicious Faithful series, has stopped by to chat about the Jazz Age - and give you guys a chance to win a copy of Sirens and some swag!

Jazz was a big part of the scene in the 1920s, especially in New York City. In SIRENS Jo Winter falls for sweet jazz musician Charlie, who moonlights as a waiter at the Algonquin Hotel. The music revolution of “the Jazz Age” is a backdrop to the Roaring Twenties and the novel.

By 1920 jazz as a musical form had already been developing for some time in the tenderloin district of New Orleans. Born as a hybrid of slave blues, West Indies calypso, ragtime, Negro spirituals, and marching brass bands, jazz was picked up by talented young artists like Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith and Jelly Roll Morton, and transported to Al Capone’s Chicago.

Jazz infused an intense energy into the music scene; artists like Armstrong had no professional training but learned to play by ear, and improvised and collaborated with other artists. This spontaneity and creativity, and the fact that many of the talents were black, lent jazz a Bohemian aspect.

Capone owned many Chicago speakeasy clubs and he enthusiastically attended performances by these jazz musicians, supporting them financially. Jazz spread as artists picked it up and writers and poets (like Langston Hughes) found rhythm to underscore their work, and New York’s underground nightclubs – especially those up in Harlem – became renowned havens of music patrons.

Dances like the Cakewalk, Black Bottom, the Monkey Glide, and, of course, the Charleston were considered decadent and sensational – which therefore made them wildly appealing to the young white crowd that frequented the clubs. The exoticism of cavorting in a club where the musicians were black made for an even edgier appeal. Jazz was a symbol of creativity and freedom in a decade when both were emerging from the repressive decades of wartime and Victorian propriety.

Radio and the phonograph were central to bringing jazz from nightclubs into every home, but especially in the big cities. In New York one could find a radio station broadcasting black musicians playing jazz – rare in other parts of the country.

Pictorial depictions of flappers and swells dancing the Charleston were popular covers on magazines and further served to spread the influence of the dances and the music.

Langston Hughes wrote, “The rhythm of life/is a jazz rhythm/Honey,” and his words epitomized his time.

Love the Jazz Age as much as I do? Enter to win one of a bajillion (rough estimate) copies of Sirens and some awesome swag! It's the cat's pajamas.
Just fill out the Rafflecopter below! US only, must be at least 13. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And make sure to check out the rest of the participating blogs on the tour - they're the bees knees!
8th @ Alice Marvel
9th @ The Mod Podge Bookshelf
10th @ Rebecca's Book Blog
11th @ Chapter By Chapter
12th @ ReadingTeen
13th @ Little Library Muse
14th @ Mundie Moms
15th @ Fire & Ice
16th @ The Book Rat
17th @ Pieces of Whimsy

And look! A trailer! It's the ....something else that sounds very Flapper-speak... ;P


  1. Ermargerd!!!

    I am SO into the 20's! I absolutely can't wait to read this book and having the opportunity to win a copy is awesome! ::fingers crossed::

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me here today!! And I love the gif. Jazz cat-dancing. You bet. :)

    Hugs - Janet

  3. Love learning about music of different eras!


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