The Harlem Renaissance marked a period of tremendous and

The Harlem Renaissance marked a period of tremendous and powerful development in art, music, and literature. Known as “The New Negro Movement”, the Harlem Renaissance significantly delivered the true identity of African Americans and provided a new approach to the essence of culture change, and a free society. Nowadays, the Harlem Renaissance can be seen as a golden era in the African American culture that drastically transformed and shaped visions and perceptions on the foundation of art and humanity. The most remarkable artists in the 1920s including Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Langston Hughes developed their own techniques and styles, which helped innovative ideas, realistic views, and original creativities in the period of the Harlem Renaissance. Duke Ellington is “considered as one of the twentieth century’s best known African American personalities,” (“Duke Ellington Biography”) an individual whose talents and efforts made him one of the most influential composers in the history of the jazz music. Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 in Washington DC. From his early childhood, Ellington was raised by parents who both had musical education. Therefore, Ellington learned to play the piano at the age of 7 and his way to the outstanding music achievements has now begun. (“Duke Ellington”) In 1917, Duke Ellington formed his own band, known as “Duke’s Serenaders” playing frequently around the Washington metropolitan area. In September 1923, Ellington changed his band name to “the Washingtonians, a group that included saxophonist Otto Hardwick, trumpeter Artie Whetsol, drummer Sonny Greer, and together moved to New York for performances. The Washingtonians first started performing at Barron D. Walkins’ Exclusive Club and sooner the band achieved popularity and recognition, (“Barron’s Exclusive Club (former) | Place Matters”)  ” attracted to the Washingtonians some of the greatest jazz musicians in the country including “Bubber” Miley, “Trick Sam” Nanton, Harry Carney, and Johnny Hodges.” (“Ellington, Edward “Duke” (1899-1974) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed”) Between 1927 and 1931, the Ellington band began to play at the Cotton Club, one of the most prominent Harlem nightspots, “accompanying the ambitious and hugely popular dance-theatre routines ushered in by the 20s “Harlem renaissance” of African-American culture.” (“50 great moments in jazz: Duke Ellington develops the ‘jungle sound'”) The performances at the Cotton Club made Ellington and his band a nationally well-known group via the weekly radio broadcast. In 1931, Ellington and his band left the Cotton Club playing jazz throughout the United States and Europe. Ellington’s compositional style was represented as four characteristics -“personalized arranging, extended song forms, unconventional harmonies and orchestrations,” (“Who is Duke Ellington?” ) which would shape the music industry in the future. As a leader of his band, Ellington managed to improve the tones from the perspectives of every members, and especially the jungle style that evolved jazz music to a new dimension by adding certain moods and sophisticated emotions. Ellington composed some of the greatest pieces in jazz music including “Creole Love Call”, “The Mooche”, “Three Little Words”, “Mood Indigo”, “Rockin’ in Rhythm”, etc, which all scored hit records. (“Ellington, Edward “Duke” (1899-1974) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed”) Louis Armstrong was one of the most recognizable musicians in the time of the Harlem Renaissance. Born in “The Battlefield” neighborhood in New Orleans on August 4, 1901, Armstrong dropped out of school in fifth grade and began to work to raise money for the family. At the age of 13, Armstrong learned to play cornet from Joe Oliver, one of the most important figures in jazz at that time. Armstrong soon became a very professional and well-known cornetist playing on Mississippi Riverboats. (“Louis Armstrong Home Museum”)In 1922, Armstrong joined Joe Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band in Chicago. Soon after Armstrong started his music career in Oliver’s band, “Armstrong and Oliver became the talk of the town with their intricate two-cornet breaks and started making records together in 1923,” (“Louis Armstrong Home Museum”) including “Snake Rag”, “Riverside Blues”, “Mabel’s Dream”, etc. Influenced by his married one, Lillian Hardin, who was also the pianist in Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, Armstrong left Chicago for Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra in Harlem in 1924. During his thirteen months in Henderson’s Orchestra, Armstrong’s attractiveness on music made himself an icon of jazz in Harlem and developed the jazz style into a phenomenal success; at the same time, “he also did dozens of recording sessions with numerous Blues singers, including Bessie Smith’s 1925 classic recording of “St. Louis Blues”, Clarence Williams, and the Red Onion Jazz Babies.” (“Louis Armstrong”) In 1925, Armstrong returned back to Chicago and formed his own band “Hot Five” and later “Hot Seven” “for recording purposes only”. (“Louis Armstrong Timeline”) His music pieces at that period of time were ” the finest recordings in jazz history”, including “My Heart”, “Cornet Chop Suey”, “Heebies Jeebies”, etc. (“Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five”) After starting off on his own, Armstrong finally found his way to be the most influential figure on revolutionizing jazz music, which he transformed ensemble-based jazz music into a style of solo performances and improvisations, pioneered the new vocal style of scat-singing, and applied jazz music as a key in bridging the racial barriers with his appearances in movies, television programs, and concerts.  Langston Hughes was one of the most important writers in the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. Hughes spent his childhood with his grandmother because his parents got divorced soon after his birth; to Hughes, the separation of the family would be marked as a dark period in his lifetime and directly affect his poetry style. Hughes started writing poems when he was in the Eighth Grade and his poetry writing skill was so prominent that his poems were published in Central High School Monthly Magazine. Hughes’s early influences were Walt Whitman, Carl Sandburg, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Claude McKay, since they were first introduced by the school in order to polish Hughes’s poetry writing. (“Langston Hughes biography: African-American history: Crossing Boundaries: Kansas Humanities Council”) Hughes’s poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers was one of his famous works, published in The Crisis Magazine in 1921, which the poem raises the voices of the black community over the continued existence of the racial discrimination and dramatically expresses the true African identity. Hughes entered Columbia University in 1921, but dropped out after only one year to continue his writing career in Harlem. “When his poem ‘The Weary Blues’ won first prize in the poetry section of the 1925 Opportunity magazine literary contest, Hughes’s literary career was launched.” (“Langston Hughes biography: African-American history: Crossing Boundaries: Kansas Humanities Council”) Hughes used the rhythms and other features of African American Blues and Jazz music in his poetries, especially his first volume of poetry titled the same as the poem “The Weary Blues” and second volume of poetry “Fine Clothes to the Jew”, published in 1926 and 1927, respectively. Hughes ended up finishing his college education at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1929. At this time of his life, Hughes became involved in politics and got interested in socialism, which would soon lead him to the lowest point in his career. Hughes’s poems were considered as the leading voice among African Americans in the Harlem Renaissance of 1920s that “he wanted to tell the stories of his people in ways that reflected their actual culture, including both their suffering and their love of music, laughter, and language itself,” (“The Life and Work of Langston Hughes”) by portraying the streetlife of Harlem, racism, sexism, violence, poverty, prejudice, etc. Hughes created a music-poetry writing style, known as “Jazz Poetry, which “can be seen as a thread that runs through the Harlem Renaissance,” (“Proverb: From A Poet’s Glossary”) and connects musicians with writers together. In the 1920s, artists like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Langston Hughes, and many others fulfilled Harlem with a new sense of appreciativeness and innovations on art, literature, and music establishing the cultural center of African Americans. Those people who overcame the difficulties and made successful accomplishments in the Harlem Renaissance were the roots of sensing the possibilities of change, which they broke the stereotypical icons of the cultural components and centered on the history stage. Thus, American culture and society have been leveled to a racially-integrated position, and the humanity that was developed in the Harlem Renaissance still has impact today, as it was generations ago.