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And they want to. And. And. Think of the world. These traditions the blues and the honkytonk barrel houses of New Orleans and the music of the
Creole musicians descendants of the colored and the music of those whose fathers had perhaps been slaves a few is most noticeably and most indelibly so far as the future of jazz was concerned in story that. Before we go into the description of story they'll part of the story of that. Has been written by Alan Lomax under tolerant Spanish and French rule in Louisiana. Mulatto children was sent to school taught trades and given professional jobs freed men of color helped to win the battle of New Orleans under Andy Jackson before 1861. These colored Creoles accumulated 15 million dollars worth of property much of it in slaves. They organized literary societies and music and publish their own newspapers while the craftsman amongst them built the lovely churches and homes of New Orleans and cast the lacy ironwork for
its balconies and doorways. The Civil War reminded the Creoles that they were negroes and second class citizens a Creole lady welcomed Union General Butler to New Orleans with these words no matter where I fight. I only wish to spend what I have and fight as long as I can so that my boy and I stand in the street equal to a white boy. This was not just talk Creole troops decided the battle of Port Hudson for the union to cite only one example of several. And in the first years of reconstruction New Orleans led the fight for the ballot. Free schools equal rights for women and other democratic reforms in the south. A great newspaper the New Orleans Tribune called upon all true Democrats regardless of color to participate in the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1868. This will be the first constitutional body ever convened in the United States the newspaper said without discrimination of race or color. It will be the first mixed assembly code with a public character. As such this convention has to take a position in the immediate contradiction to the white man's government. They will show that a new order of things will succeed the former order
and that the long neglected race will affect too will a share in the government of the state. Jelly Roll Morton grandfather sat in that convention and the grandfathers of other jazz men undoubtedly supported it. So only a liberal constitution and ratified and the negro governor and sent to the state capitol were overthrown by white violins disillusioned old men when it shipped out for Panama never returned. With the Creoles who stayed behind held on where they could jelly roll stories show their fantastic pride in their little properties and their family traditions However rooted in illegitimacy they struggled to educate their children or at least to give them a trade. And they organized as far as they dared. Benevolent Societies unions lodges and social clubs. Above all they called evaded the art of music always a permitted avenue of achievement to the negro. But one avenue where he could achieve success and prove himself in his own eyes the superior of the white man. Cheap instruments left behind by the Confederate Army Bands filled the pawn shops as we've noted
Creole Friedman could afford to buy instruments for most of the good and pay for music lessons as few other Southern negroes are good. Almost any old time I can recall is childhood musical instruction given in the strictest style of the French Academy. Except for the poor Creole boys who had to teach themselves. But for the others I studied music for two years and then I chose my instrument he will tell you pridefully And even if this gentleman has no technical knowledge of music. As for the passionate enthusiasm of a Brooklynite for baseball and can bore you to death with the esoteric of forgotten bands and their style as well Max continues New Orleans and adjoining parishes became a world of brass band and string orchestras the stomping grounds of all the best musicians in the world and jelly roll very organization minded. All these fraternities demanded bands for their balls and parades and so for an overblown half century New Orleans negroes experimented with European instruments a strong tradition took form and was passed on to eager apprentices continually enriched by
Cosmopolitan musical conference from everywhere and spend. Spanish French and other sources and yet maintaining its local character. French opera and popular song and Neapolitan music. African drumming still to be heard at the. Dances on Congo Square where Julie was born. Haitian rhythm and Cuban melody a native Creole satiric ditties American spirituals and blues the ragtime in the popular music of the day. All these sounded side by side in the streets of New Orleans and blended in the rich Gumble of New Orleans music. The people two whites and negroes lived as neighbors in the Creole quarter and as one lady remembers it it was just over the fence whenever we had dinner we always swapped platters of our best cooking with the French and Italians next door. Just over the fence so Creole Music ripened subsidised by a relatively prosperous and tolerant Negro community Time seemed to flow like a. Rumba in the downtown world the Creole world but all over the South. The old order which had given status to the Creole negro disappeared
poor whites would have mending and getting jobs that had formerly been negro Parag it is by the 1890s the Creoles of New Orleans were being pushed out of their old trades and down on the social scale. Soon they were to be practically eliminated from the skilled trades. Music had once been a hobby or at most the source of the few extra dollars. Now those few dollars became the income of for a family and music became a serious professional matter. On his way down the class scale a light skinned Creole met the black skinned American musician finding his way out of the black ghetto. This meeting took place in Storyville which opened in 1897 and offered regular well-paid jobs to any musician who wasn't too proud to earn a dollar and a barrel house. But black Americans were in there pitching for those jobs and getting them just to name a few who came from uptown and gave the downtown Creole some trouble. Louis Armstrong a troubled man who also worked on cool cards Buddy Bolden may be the first hot trumpeter a bobber might carry one of the great trumpeters work by the day
sometimes fun Johnson who took over from Boulder and also drove trucks. Joe Oliver the king of Chicago trumpets later worked as a butler at times. Jim Robinson the great trombone also followed Longshore and by and large. These Americans were common laborers or service workers. They were not trained musicians but one their story villa job by sheer talent Creoles who wanted to work in Storyville had to play in bands with them. So for the first time since Reconstruction Creoles were compelled to accept blacks as equals and this was bitter medicine. As the mulatto group had been forced down its caste prejudice had mounted and had mounted. The mulattoes were actually more prejudiced than the white people of that time dark skin Johnnies and SEER somberly remarked. And his comment was confirmed says Lomax in the course of his interviews. Every time a creel spoke invariably in describing someone a Creole would begin these kind of light brown of his real black. Man's pigmentation was his most significant human attribute in New Orleans.
So light skinned downtown share the bandstand with dark skinned uptown. There was fear and hate on both sides at first. The jazz demanded cooperation and eventually. Story bill the music. The most important thing. Here is an example of what happened when Creole and musical styles of the darker mixed when they are few of the French and the Spanish. And the French opera and the brass bands and the blues and the ragtime music. In this recording of some of the intertwining strong.
And another recording made in New Orleans as well as this one a few years ago. Here's a further example of interaction what happened when a popular to all of me with the blues. And the Creole and and and and all the others.
Life. With the thief.
At the beginning the Creole brought to this melding of influences a greater sense with formal musical structure and the use of rag patterns the quad reel and other bands figures more technical musicianship in the European sense whereas the darker Negroes have the invaluable tradition of the blues and all that one before it and their own frequently startling experiments with the potentialities of instruments. And their increasing ability to vocalize on their instruments. It was wilder Hobson noted at work the other way too. Just as the jazz instruments were vocalized so jazz singing took on an instrumental character. There is now in jazz the singers then often distorted syllables for a linear effect. And added others which were linguistically meaningless but musically significant. This kind of singing is sometimes called scat singing and Louis Armstrong gives an example. Of it by singing or rather playing with his voice as he would with an instrument. In response to the
clarinet in the west end loops.
It's kind of you know blowing represents the later development of the THAN was occurring at the time was being on the new one. Get the story Bill.
Despite their frequency parades and dances would not have been enough to keep the lusty but nonetheless dependent. Infant of jazz alive economically that was needed a section of the city where jazz musicians of merit could be assured of fairly steady time work or regular entertainment districts those frequented by whites and creoles by and large would have no part of a jazz band preferring the conventional and peaceful string ensembles with perhaps a few woodwind added in the well-paying white dance halls generally barred negro musicians entirely. The negro section of New Orleans was not prosperous enough to support steadily any number of jazz bands but fortunately for jazz New Orleans didn't have a district especially adapted to it. And that worked both ways it was a city within a city such as did not exist anywhere else in the United States was established in 1997 when the New Orleans City Council adopted an ordinance introduced by Alderman
Sydney story who had made an exhaustive study of the methods by which prostitution had been regulated in the large cities of Europe. This measure set aside an area in the French Quarter where it was to be permitted but not actually legalized. Eventually Storyville became the most celebrated red light district in the United States and has assumed the position. And had assumed the position once held by Congress where in the quadroon balls has a unique attraction for New Orleans tourists. Because of the fact that early jazz began in this kind of environment as it has been called by some immoral music. So how music can be determined to be either virtuous or non virtuous peers say. I've never been able to determine. The fact is and I quote from Paul it was Miller thrown against such a background was the economic position of large sections of the Crescent City's population Storyville and its environs gave work not only to musicians but the waiters cab drivers gamblers bartenders and a host of other occupations with men and women such as these many of them from very poor families it
The Evolution of Jazz
Episode Number
New Orleans Jazz, Part Two
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, the second of two explores the jelling of various influences into the jazz that was unique to New Orleans.
Series Description
Jazz historian Nat Hentoff presents a series that traces the history of jazz, from its musical and cultural roots to its contemporary forms. "The Evolution of Jazz" was originally broadcast from WGBH in 1953-1954, and was re-broadcast by the National Educational Radio Network in 1964.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Jazz--Louisiana--New Orleans.
Media type
Embed Code
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Host: Hentoff, Nat
Interviewee: Morton, Jelly Roll, -1941.
Producer: Hentoff, Nat
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-32-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:02
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Chicago: “The Evolution of Jazz; 11; New Orleans Jazz, Part Two,” 1954-01-22, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 1, 2022,
MLA: “The Evolution of Jazz; 11; New Orleans Jazz, Part Two.” 1954-01-22. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 1, 2022. <>.
APA: The Evolution of Jazz; 11; New Orleans Jazz, Part Two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from