Jazz developed at the turn of the 20th century in south Louisiana and was born from a combination of musical traditions: work songs, spirituals, blues, and ragtime. From the early days of vaudeville and minstrel shows to the formidable first years of jazz, Donaldsonville was a hotbed of musical activity. Many of the early musicians developed an interest and talent while living on or near the plantations in the rural communities of Ascension Parish. This bicentennial monument serves as a site of enduring significance that documents, preserves and celebrates the rural musicians, famous and unsung, from this region. It also stands as a monument in recognition of the people and neighborhoods that nourished these musicians and laid the foundation for jazz that carved a uniquely prominent position on the world stage. Donaldsonville and Ascension Parish are fortunate to have these notable musicians as native sons: Claiborne Williams, Joseph "King" Oliver, Willie Foster, Richard Myknee Jones, George "Pops" Foster, Davidson C. Nelson and Emanuel Sayles.