The First Jazz Band
Speaker: Ian Whitcomb
Thu, Aug 2, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Sheffer Recital Hall, The Shedd Institute
New York City, 1917: the music industry was turned topsy-turvy by the success at a top intertie of a 5-piece band of young men blatting out crazy chaotic music — three horns blowing different tunes, propelled by drums and controlled by piano. All from cosmopolitan New Orleans, an exotic city covered in a cloak of many colors. Customers went wild dancing and shouting to the Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s repertoire of frantic self-made pieces like "Tiger Rag' and "Sensation Rag". Were they reflecting the uncertain times, a European war raging and the tensions of skyscraper life? Soon they had recorded their hectic tunes and the discs sold in the millions. Bandleaders cut their members down to five and copied this barnyard music. This was jazz, stressing improvisation, individuality. Meanwhile embryonic jazzers like Bix Beiderbecke and Louis Armstrong were enthralled by the excitement of the cornet, clarinet and trombone of the kids from Louisiana. A new art form had been born.
Event Personnel
Ian Whitcomb, speaker
Ticket/Venue Info
Sheffer Recital Hall
The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts
285 E Broadway
Eugene, Oregon

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