Jazz In New Orleans

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New Orleans is undoubtedly the birthplace of jazz. As the magic of jazz brought about a new period in music history, and legends emerged, jazz quickly took on many forms and incarnations around the country. The originators and pioneers in New Orleans kept the original seed alive in what came to be known as “Dixieland Jazz.”
New Orleans was the right place and the right time for jazz. Immigrants to the city in the late 19th century brought their traditions of brass bands with them: marching in parades, providing music for funerals, performing at community events. Most of those bands were all-white, however, and others were limited within specific ethnic communities (Italians, Croatians, Germans, etc.). Black musicians had fewer outlets through
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A wonderfully rich fictional account of life and music in Storyville to check out is Louis Maistros’ novel, The Sound of Building Coffins.
Jazz caught and spread rapidly up the Mississippi River to Memphis, St. Louis, and ultimately, Chicago. Ships and trains carried musicians all the way up the east coast to New York, as well. New Orleans musicians left Dixie behind them, but took their Dixieland Jazz along on the adventure. Some of them, like Edward “Kid” Ory, got all the way out to Los Angeles, where Hollywood got a taste of Dixieland. As these men spread out across the country and jazz left the cradle, the music changed with
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It is often credited as the city that gave birth to jazz. However, the more in-depth the research, the more difficult it is to claim one city as the origin. New Orleans is an exciting city that keeps alive many of its early customs and traditions. The city is tolerant of all races and was a natural setting for the music of West Africa and Europe to meet and merge. When considering New Orleans the birthplace of jazz, one must keep in mind that slaves were brought first to Virginia in 1619 and that the first instrumental jazz was recorded in New York City in 1917.
New Orleans provided a receptive environment for jazz to develop and grow. All “Early New Orleans” bands did not sound the same. The style of playing varied with the job, whether it was music for a parade, funeral, or dancing. Melody was fixed but everything else was improvised during performance. Music played in some African American clubs was considered too “rough” by established New Orleans society. By contrast, music played for white dances had a “sweeter”

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