For many years I've been reading about how jazz is dying. It seems to stay alive, but it's definitely not one of the top music genres in the U.S., even in the region where it was born, the South. (Although this weekend is the New Orleans Jazz Festival, which I heartily recommend even to non-jazz-lovers. Worth going for the food alone!) I don't know much about jazz, so I'm sorry if I sound ignorant. I am!
But it's amazing how often I meet French people who tell me they love jazz. In fact they often mention that want to travel to Louisiana or Mississippi in search of jazz.
Jazz in France started with American blacks coming here after World War I. They were much freer in France, it must have been like a weight taken off to be treated like a normal person in Paris at a time when segregation and Jim Crow laws ruled in much of the U.S.. (The French enjoyed being superior to racist Americans for many years afterwards. Of course, that was before France had other races in any large proportion. It's been a few years now since I've heard French people brag about French lack of racism!) So there started to be a lot of jazz clubs and jazz became cool. And remains cool.