What’s the Difference Between Blues and Jazz?

Whether you’re new to the world of Blues and Jazz, or you’re a seasoned Blues and Jazz music lover; we’d like to share with you our take on the differences between these two genres.  While the two music genres have a lot in common, they also have traits that make them unique from one another. So, what exactly is the difference between Blues and Jazz?

Blues music typically involves a single guitar player who compliments his or her instrument with vocals, while Jazz music involves the rich dynamic of an ensemble.  Besides the number of musicians, the nature of each genre’s lyrics is specific as well.

Let’s delve into more specifics, regarding the difference between Blues and Jazz:


Blues is typically melancholic, sharp and slow.  Jazz is associated with swinging, smoothness, and swaying.

Musical Origin of Blues and Jazz

Blues is derived from Bluegrass, Jazz, R&B, and Rock.  Jazz comes from Calypso, Funk, Soul, and Swing. It’s important to know that Blues was around before Jazz; thus, Blues can be considered an element of Jazz music.

Jazz is from New Orleans, while Blues is from Mississippi.

Cultural Origin

Blues and Jazz both originate from the Southern United States.  Blues come from the late 19th century.  Jazz comes from the Early 20th century.

Types of Instruments

Blues involves guitar, bass, piano, harmonica, drums, saxophone, vocals, trumpet, trombone, and sometimes fiddle.  Jazz involves a guitar, piano, bass, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, drums, and tuba. Jazz is usually instrumental, while Blues almost always contains lyrics.

Stylistic Origin

Blues roots from African American folk and spiritual music.  Jazz roots from a combination of African and Europeans traditions.

Notable Artists

Some popular Blues artists include: B.B. King, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Bill Broonzy, Eric Clapton, Gus Cannon, John Lee Hooker, and Ma Rainey.  Some popular Jazz musicians include Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Ella Fitzgerald, and Herbie Hancock.

With the above information, you should now have a better sense of the difference between blue and jazz.

Alex Levin Music is known for representing NYC Jazz Bands, NYC Wedding Bands, Philadelphia Wedding Bands, New Jersey Wedding Bands, New York Wedding Bands, Long Island Wedding Bands, Brooklyn Wedding Bands, Queens Wedding Bands, Top Wedding Bands NYC, Jazz Bands For Events in NYC, and the Best Wedding Bands NYC.  Finally, The Alex Levin Trio is Alex’s personal NYC Jazz Band under the Alex Levin Music Agency.


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