Harlem Stride Piano

Harlemjazz

Harlem Stride Piano appeared towards the end of 1910's when jazz was expanding in Harlem. Richer than ragtime before, stride piano offered more freedom with sounds, more flexibility in the game and came mainly under improvisation. It is a self-sufficient style of game because it fills all the sound space and it is also very visual. As a real "rythm box", the left hand alternates with flexibility between basses and agreements, while the right hand weaves a series of improvisations and variations on the empty space of the keyboard.

James P. Johnson the father of stride piano


Luckey Roberts and Eubie Blake were the first pianists to practice, but James P. Johnson created the foundations of this music, with black sonority and deeply steeped in the blues. Piano stride played on essential part at the beginnings of jazz. It has seen a generation of pianists who left their prints in jazz history.

Harlem Stride Piano pianists