Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Blues and Jazz

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With generous support from Bill and Carolyn Powers, the Thelonious Monk Institute has launched a free online curriculum for 5th, 8th, and 11th grade public school students in the United States that traces the history and development of the blues and jazz in America.

Dockery Farms, located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta between Cleveland and Ruleville, is considered by many, including blues legend B.B. King, to be the birthplace of the blues. Guitarist Charley Patton's father was employed at Dockery Farms, and it was here that the younger Patton began creating the innovative sound that would influence many other musicians and later be referred to as the blues. Other unforgettable bluesmen who worked at or visited Dockery Farms to play the blues included Robert Johnson, Son House, and Howlin' Wolf. At this same time about 300 miles away in New Orleans, a different music - jazz - was being played.

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