The paper "What is Jazz" is a great example of a music assignment. Jazz is commonly referred to as “America’s Classical Music,” giving credits to its country of origin. Jazz blossomed in the US during the 1920s, however, history tells us that the timeline of jazz started in 1817 with the New Orleans city government’s establishment of “Congo Square” as an official site for music and dance (Jazz Timeline 2005). This important event in history marked the importance of New Orleans as a regional musical center. The “Congo Square” became the breeding ground for what will become a very significant part of the American culture. In this place, the former slaves in the community were allowed to express themselves through music and other art forms. Thus, they sang “work songs filled with irony, imagery, and love—relief from the tensions of their lives (American Popular Music 2005).” The blues, which is a precursor of jazz also flourished in the “Congo Square” giving way to the creation of jazz music. Compared to other types of music, jazz has its distinct characteristics. Jazz is characterized by blue notes, syncopation, swing, call and response, polyrhythm and improvisation. Popular jazz artists include Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Fletcher Henderson, and Duke Ellington.