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Swing Kid
Swing Kid

Swing Kid is a term for someone who likes Swing or Jazz music, in a similar sense to the terms Anti-Fashion Kid, Drama Kid, or Scene Kid.

The term originated with The Swing Kids (German: Swingjugend)who were a group of jazz and Swing lovers in Germany of the 1930s, mainly in Hamburg (St. Pauli) and Berlin. They were composed of 14- to 18-year old boys and girls in high school, most of them middle- or upper-class students, but some apprentice workers as well. They sought the British and American way of life, defining themselves in Swing music, and opposing the National-Socialist ideology, especially the Hitlerjugend.

There have long been debates in the jazz community over the definition and the boundaries of “jazz”. Although alteration or transformation of jazz by new influences has often been initially criticized as a “debasement,” Andrew Gilbert argues that jazz has the “ability to absorb and transform influences” from diverse musical styles. While some enthusiasts of certain types of jazz have argued for narrower definitions which exclude many other types of music also commonly known as "jazz", jazz musicians themselves are often reluctant to define the music they play. Duke Ellington summed it up by saying, "It's all music." Some critics have even stated that Ellington's music was not jazz because it was arranged and orchestrated.
On the other hand Ellington's friend Earl Hines's twenty solo "transformative versions" of Ellington compositions (on Earl Hines Plays Duke Ellington recorded in the 1970s) were described by Ben Ratliff, the New York Times jazz critic, as "as good an example of the jazz process as anything out there."

As far as this page is concerned, Jazz is a musical art form which originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions. The style's West African pedigree is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation, and the swung note.

From its early development until the present, jazz has also incorporated music from 19th and 20th century American popular music. The word jazz began as a West Coast slang term of uncertain derivation and was first used to refer to music in Chicago in about 1915.

Jazz has, from its early 20th century inception, spawned a variety of subgenres, from New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1910s, big band-style swing from the 1930s and 1940s, bebop from the mid-1940s, a variety of Latin jazz fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, jazz-rock fusion from the 1970s and late 1980s developments such as acid jazz, which blended jazz influences into funk and hip-hop. As the music has spread around the world it has drawn on local national and regional musical cultures, its aesthetics being adapted to its varied environments and giving rise to many distinctive styles.

Although ensembles like the Count Basie Orchestra and the Stan Kenton Orchestra survived into the 1950s by incorporating new musical styles into their repertoire, they were no longer the hallmark of American popular music. In the late 1990s (1998 until about 2000) there was a short-lived "Swing revival" movement, led by bands such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Royal Crown Revue, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, the Lucky Strikes and Brian Setzer. The style also revived swing dancing, both in a traditional style, and in hybrid approaches which blended 1930s dancing with 2000-era dance styles. A similarly hybrid approach to musical genre can be seen with superswing music, a style that can be seen to have its origin in The Fabrics' 2002 classic 12" single on Switch Music, Cassawanka.

In the 1980s, the jazz community shrank dramatically and split. A mainly older audience retained an interest in traditional and straight-ahead jazz styles. Wynton Marsalis strove to create music within what he believed was the tradition, creating extensions of small and large forms initially pioneered by such artists as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. In 1987, the US House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill proposed by Democratic Representative John Conyers, Jr. to define jazz as a unique form of American music stating, among other things, "...that jazz is hereby designated as a rare and valuable national American treasure to which we should devote our attention, support and resources to make certain it is preserved, understood and promulgated."

In the early 1980s, a lighter commercial form of jazz fusion called pop fusion or "smooth jazz" became successful and garnered significant radio airplay. Smooth jazz saxophonists include Grover Washington, Jr., Kenny G, Najee and Michael Lington. Smooth jazz received frequent airplay with more straight-ahead jazz in quiet storm time slots at radio stations in urban markets across the U.S., helping to establish or bolster the careers of vocalists including Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, and Sade.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, several subgenres fused jazz with popular music, such as Acid jazz, nu jazz, and jazz rap. Acid jazz and nu jazz combined elements of jazz and modern forms of electronic dance music. While nu jazz is influenced by jazz harmony and melodies, there are usually no improvisational aspects. Jazz rap fused jazz and hip-hop. Gang Starr recorded "Words I Manifest," "Jazz Music," and "Jazz Thing", sampling Charlie Parker and Ramsey Lewis, and collaborating with Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard. Beginning in 1993, rapper Guru's Jazzmatazz series used jazz musicians during the studio recordings.

In the 2000s, straight-ahead jazz continues to appeal to a core group of listeners. Well-established jazz musicians, such as Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter and Jessica Williams, continue to perform and record. In the 1990s and 2000s, a number of young musicians emerged, including US pianists Brad Mehldau, Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Terence Blanchard, and saxophonists Chris Potter and Joshua Redman. The more experimental end of the spectrum has included US trumpeters Dave Douglas and Rob Mazurek, saxophonist Ken Vandermark, Norwegian pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, the Swedish group E.S.T., and US bassist Christian McBride. Toward the more dance or pop music end of the spectrum are St Germain, who incorporates some live jazz playing with house beats, and Jamie Cullum, who plays a particular mix of Jazz Standards with his own more pop-oriented compositions.

In recent years Swing music has become fairly popular in Germany. Singers Roger Cicero, Thomas Anders and Tom Gaebel have attained large followings both in their native country and world wide. Cicero’s style is predominantly that of 1940s and 1950s swing music, combined with German lyrics; he became Germany's participant for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007.

Male Swing Kids often wear more casual suits, and female ones short-to-knee lengh dresses, usually in all one color, with heels and ocaisionally a feather boa.

Image from Deviantart, info mostly from wikipedia, edited by me.

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