Jazz is a musical genre that has been an important part of American culture for over a century. From its roots in the African American community to its global influence and popularity, jazz has been a major force in the world of music and beyond. Trivia questions about jazz can provide a fun and engaging way to test your knowledge and deepen your appreciation for this dynamic and diverse art form.
Whether you're a seasoned jazz aficionado or just starting to explore this exciting genre, jazz trivia questions offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of jazz. From the classic performers and styles to the innovations and trends that have shaped the genre, these questions can challenge you on your knowledge of jazz history, theory, and performance.
26 Jazz Trivia Questions Ranked From Easiest to Hardest (Updated for 2024)
- Turkish-born athlete and activist Enes Kanter legally changed his name to Enes Kanter Freedom in 2021 to celebrate his American citizenship. Freedom has played what sport for Türkiye’s Fenerbahçe sports club, as well as the Jazz, Knicks, and Thunder?
- Philadelphians might use what other word when referring to a submarine or hero sandwich? Legend has it that a jazz musician opened up a sandwich shop during the Great Depression with the slogan that you "had to be a hog" to eat one, inspiring the name.
- What Boston college, known for its study of jazz and other contemporary American music, has produced more Grammy-winners than any other school?
Answer: Berklee College of Music
- What is the United States national cultural center that opened in 1971 and is home to frequent performances of performance art including theater, dance, orchestras, jazz, and folk music?
Answer: The Kennedy Center
- Named for a major Midwestern city, what long-running Broadway musical features songs like "All That Jazz," "Cell Block Tango," and "Mr. Cellophane?"
- Bill Clinton is quite the jazz musician. His talent for which instrument got him the nickname “The MTV President,” and is probably one of the less controversial facts about him (unless you have something against smooth riffs)?
- If you ran across an article about 3 jazz legends from the same family whose first names were Ellis, Wynton, and Branford, what would their last name most likely be?
- Filmed in Cincinnati and with Don Cheadle as both director and star, the 2015 film "Miles Ahead" is a fictionalization of the life of what legendary jazz musician?
Answer: Miles Davis
- Singer and jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald made her debut performance at one of the very first infamous "Amateur Nights" at what Harlem theater in 1934?
Answer: The Apollo
- The Tongass National Forest in Edna Bay, Alaska is home to a national monument known as ______ Fjords. Fill in the one word “M” blank, adjective describing air with a lot of vapor in it, also the name of jazz standard song.
Answer: Misty Fjords National Monument
- Gaining a love for music in the Little Burgundy community of Montréal, Oscar Peterson became a jazz legend known primarily for tickling what instrument?
- What is the name for the genre of American roots music that developed in the 1940s in the US Appalachian region and derived its name from the band of Bill Monroe? Traditionally, this genre is only played on acoustic string instruments and has roots in traditional African-American blues and jazz.
- Portland native Esperanza Spalding is a jazz virtuoso of the upright and electric versions of what stringed instrument also played by Flea and Stanley Clarke?
- Hoots the Owl is a jazzy saxophone-playing bird on what alliteratively named kids' TV show?
Answer: Sesame Street
- Ron Swanson moonlights as a jazz saxophonist that performs under what name?
Answer: Duke Silver
- One of the most celebrated American musicians of all time, what "CC" man grew up in Baltimore, and later became a jazz singer, dancer, bandleader and actor? He mixed jazz and vaudeville during his career and led one of the U.S.'s most popular "big bands" from the early 1930s to the late 1940s.
Answer: Cab Calloway
- The final Sacramento Music Festival was held in 2017 after more than 40 years of being held annually on Memorial Day weekend. Attendance peaked in the 1980s with more than 80,000 attendees. At the time, the festival had what more-festive name?
Answer: Old Sacramento Dixieland Jazz Jubilee
- "Black Coffee" is the title track of the 1956 debut album by what jazz and pop singer famous for songs like "Fever" and "Hallelujah, I Love Him So?"
Answer: Peggy Lee
- A festival named for legendary Delaware musician Clifford Brown brings what genre of music to Wilmington's Rodney Square every June?
- If you’re a fan of Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, and Miles Davis, which museum in Kansas City will be music to your ears?
Answer: Amerian Jazz Museum
- Which famous D.C. jazz club, whose interior partially resembles a cave, is now closed permanently but has been host to famous musicians such as John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong?
Answer: Bohemian Caverns
- Since it was founded in 1965, which Georgetown jazz nightclub has given a stage to the greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, and Mary Wilson?
Answer: Blues Alley
- Now located at 315 West 44th Street, what legendary "avian" NYC jazz club opened in its first incarnation in December 1949 on Broadway near 52nd Street?
- William Anderson was an American jazz trumpeter most well-known for his lengthy stint as a member of Duke Ellington's orchestra. However, Anderson was rarely known by his birth name, instead frequently referred to by what jazz-appropriate mammalian nickname?
- "Bird" and "Yardbird" were nicknames for what legendary American jazz saxophonist who reflected the nickname in the title of a 1946 work, "Ornithology?"
Answer: Charlie Parker
- The ________ Owls were an early jazz band that descended from The Invincibles String band. The Owls recorded almost two dozen singles for Columbia in the 1920s and typically played for ballroom dancers in the Roosevelt Hotel in ________. What city's name replaces both blanks?
Answer: New Orleans
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