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All Episodes

A Masterpiece by Midnight

During the Sixties, jazz is in trouble.

The Adventure

Currents of change in American now impact Jazz.


The postwar years bring America to a level of prosperity unimaginable a decade before.

Dedicated to Chaos

When America enters World War II, jazz is part of the arsenal.

Swing: The Velocity of Celebration

A new sound emerges- pulsing, stomping, suffused with the blues.

Swing: Pure Pleasure

As the Depression drags on, jazz comes as close as ever to being America's music

The True Welcome

Jazz is called upon to lift the spirits of a frightened country.

Our Language

As the stock market continues to soar, jazz is everywhere in America

The Gift

Louis Armstrong shows the whole world how to swing.


JAZZ begins in New Orleans, nineteenth century America's most cosmopolitan city.

About Jazz

Jazz has been called the purest expression of American democracy; a music built on individualism and compromise, independence and cooperation. Ken Burns follows the growth and development of jazz music from the gritty streets of New Orleans to Chicago's south side, the speakeasies of Kansas city and to Times Square.

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