Jazz music has a wide range of sounds. It generally involves improvisation, through which musicians can express themselves in unique ways in every performance. Jazz evolved primarily with African American musicians in New Orleans around the turn of the twentieth century. It resulted from the convergence of a diverse body of musical styles, including ragtime, blues, marches, French quadrilles, Italian trumpet melodies, and Cuban habanero rhythms.
After spreading from New Orleans to Chicago and New York City, jazz music and dance styles became popular throughout the United States in the 1920s, which is often called the Jazz Age. The music has continually evolved into new subgenres, including swing and vocal jazz in the 1920s and 30s, bebop in the 1940s, modal and free jazz in the 1950s, jazz fusion and funk in the 1960s and 70s, and smooth jazz, acid jazz, and jazz rap in the 1980s. Today, practitioners and enthusiasts of all these styles coexist under the broad umbrella of jazz.