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HIS223C: African American History through Jazz: MUS 103 Assignment

Your Assignment

Research more about one of the following jazz artists:

  • Louis Armstrong
  • Duke Ellington
  • Count Basie
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Miles Davis
  • Charlie Parker
  • John Coltrane

Historical Jazz Figure Presentation

Students will split into groups of 3 (one group of 4), and each group will select one of the jazz figures from the list below. Groups will present on the jazz figure's life and the challenges in society throughout their life. Presentations will take place during the final examination time.


  • No more than 10 minutes long
  • Include audio or visual examples (Audio examples should not be longer than 30 seconds long, and should relate to content presented.)

Historical Jazz Figure Paper

Each individual from the group will write a paper on a certain portion of the presentation artist's life. Individuals will discuss historical aspects of this period of their life, and apply it to societal situations for African Americans at that point in time, politically and socially.


  • 5-7 pages in length
  • Bibliography with at least 6 scholarly sources
  • Written in Chicago Manual Style

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources for Biographical Information

The following sources will be helpful as you search for biographical information about your musician.

Secondary Source for Context and Analysis

The following sources will be helpful as you place your musicians life and work in the larger historical and societal context.  These sources are also where you will find scholarly sources.

Audio Files