We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

The History of Jazz

Third Edition

Ted Gioia

Publication Date - March 2021

ISBN: 9780190087210

608 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $24.95


An updated new edition of Ted Gioia's universally acclaimed history of jazz, with a wealth of new insight on this music's past, present, and future.

Ted Gioia's The History of Jazz has been universally hailed as the most comprehensive and accessible history of the genre of all time. Acclaimed by jazz critics and fans alike, this magnificent work is now available in an up-to-date third edition that covers the latest developments in the jazz world and revisits virtually every aspect of the music.

Gioia's story of jazz brilliantly portrays the most legendary jazz players, the breakthrough styles, and the scenes in which they evolved. From Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club, Miles Davis's legendary 1955 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, and Ornette Coleman's experiments with atonality to current innovators such as Kamasi Washington and Esperanza Spalding, Gioia takes readers on a sweeping journey through the history of jazz. As he traces the music through the swamp lands of the Mississippi Delta, the red light district of New Orleans, the rent parties of Harlem, the speakeasies of Chicago, and other key locales of jazz history, Gioia also makes the social contexts in which the music was born come alive.

This new edition finally brings the often overlooked women who shaped the genre into the spotlight and traces the recent developments that have led to an upswing of jazz in contemporary mainstream culture. As it chronicles jazz from its beginnings and most iconic figures to its latest dialogues with popular music, the developments of the digital age, and new commercial successes, Gioia's History of Jazz reasserts its status as the most authoritative survey of this fascinating music.

New to this Edition

  • Revises the male-dominated history of jazz to include the women who shaped the genre
  • Covers current jazz stars such as Kamasi Washington and Esperanza Spalding
  • Explores how digital technologies have informed jazz in recent years
  • Considers the developments in jazz history from a more global perspective
  • Features an expanded list of recommended tracks


  • Offers a deeply researched and highly accessible account of the history of jazz from its roots to the present
  • Portrays the most iconic musicians, events, and places in jazz history

About the Author(s)

Ted Gioia is a pianist, critic, scholar, historian, and educator. He is the author of 11 books, including The History of Jazz (OUP, 2011) and Delta Blues--both honored by the New York Times on their list of 100 notable books of the year. Each of his three books on the social history of music--Work Songs, Healing Songs, and Love Songs (OUP, 2015)--has been honored with the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. Gioia holds degrees from Oxford University and Stanford's Graduate School of Business, and previously served on the faculty of Stanford University. Praised as one of the leading music historians of our day, Gioia is a preeminent guide to the songs of the past, present, and future.


"Gioia's History of Jazz became an instant classic when it was first published in 1997. This third edition is approximately 20 percent longer than the first. It has been updated and revised, and includes new text." -- N.J. Quinlan, CHOICE Connect, Vol. 59 No. 8

"Possibly the best survey to date." -- Ann Douglas, New York Times

"If you are looking for an introduction to jazz, this is it. If you know and love jazz well, this is your vade mecum. Me, I expect to be reading around in it for the rest of my life...[It is] the definitive work: encyclopedic, discriminating, provocative, perceptive and eminently readable. With its publication, it can no longer be said that the literature of jazz falls far short of the music itself." -- Jonathan Yardley , Washington Post

"Magnificent book" -- Steve Voce, Jazz Journal

"Gioia's history stands a good chance of becoming the standard guide for general readers and academics." -- Greg Tate, The Village Voice

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: The Prehistory of Jazz
    Chapter 2: New Orleans Jazz
    Chapter 3: The Jazz Age
    Chapter 4: Harlem
    Chapter 5: The Swing Era
    Chapter 6: Modern Jazz
    Chapter 7: The Fragmentation of Jazz Styles
    Chapter 8: Freedom and Fusion
    Chapter 9: Traditionalists and Post-Modernists
    Chapter 10: Jazz without Boundaries
    Chapter 11: Jazz Resurgent

    Further Reading
    Recommended Listening

Related Titles