ATLANTA – Derived from popular genres of music like jazz, blues and gospel, rhythm and blues was born. Rhythm and Blues music, which is widely referred to as R&B, is unique in that it has the ability to take on many musical identities, at once. Some say the genre was first identified in Harlem, during the Harlem Renaissance, which is known as one of the most prominent cultural movements for African Americans during the 1930’s. However, others think the genre originated in the 1940’s when African Americans began moving to northern cities, creating cultural fusion.
The music evolved from “race music”, which was an offensive term that referred to the music of African Americans, into jump blues which was known for having a swing boogie, big band sound.