Early New Orleans Jazz Bands
|(For the bands of Buddy Bolden, Kid Ory, Bunk Johnson, Jelly
Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and King Oliver, please see their
individual pages. And for more info on many of the musicians
on this page, see the Jazz Musicians page.)
|Christen's Brass Band, Southern Park, 1890 - The only "Southern Park" I could find
mention of was Parkview Place (Southern Park), bounded by Bayou St. John, Dumaine
and Carrollton. Band leader, Frank George Christen, is in the middle of the back row.
|Frank Christen's Band on Quarellas Pier at Milneburg, on Lake Pontchartrain, 1905
|"Papa" Jack Laine's Band - By the age of 16, Laine (above on drums) had led both
string and brass bands; he led a drum & bugle corps during the Spanish American War.
After segregation laws precluded whites and blacks from playing together, Laine still
provided places in his band for African-Americans and, if anyone made trouble over it,
Mr. Laine professed that the musicians were "Cuban." He was out of the music
business by the end of WWI, but his influence was important enough that it affected the
course of jazz. He spent his life in New Orleans and died at the age of 93, having been
honored many times in his later years for his contributions to jazz.
|Above & below: The Original Dixieland Jazz Band made the first jazz recording in 1917
and they were the first New Orleans band to make an impact in New York City. Some
early members of the band were: leader, Nick La Rocca; Alcie Nunez; Johnny Stein;
Henry Ragas & Eddie Edwards. This band was very influential in the formation and
development of jazz and leader Nick La Rocca's composition, "Tiger Rag," is an
important jazz standard; the 1918 ODJB recording of "Tiger Rag" has been placed
on the U.S. Library of Congress National Recording Registry.
|Above: Oscar "Papa" Celestin's Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra, 1926 -
Papa Celestin was one of the great early jazz men; Louis Armstrong and
many other notable jazz musicians played in the Orchestra early on.
|Born in the Milneburg area of New Orleans, Sharkey Bonano (leaning, with hat
on) and his Kings of Dixieland Band, are shown above performing in the Blue
Room, Roosevelt Hotel, 1955. Sharkey's band was very popular and he
remained active in New Orleans, New York and Chicago until the 1960's when his
health forced him to retire. He died in New Orleans in 1972.
|Sidney Bechet and his band - In the 1920's, Sidney Bechet made some
recordings with Louis Armstrong and these constitute one of the most
important bodies of New Orleans Jazz available.
|Band at one of Tom Anderson's Saloons, Storyville District, bet. 1892-1915
|San Jacintos Dance Hall band, Storyville, New Orleans
|West End Concert Band
|Fate Marable's Orchestra on the S.S. Capitol, 1920.
|An unidentified brass band marches in traditional New Orleans style, 1950's.
|Trumpeter Frank Assunto's Dukes of Dixieland Band - The Italian community of
New Orleans has produced many notable jazz musicians. Frank, Fred and their 2
sisters grew up listening to and learning from their dad, banjoist, Jacob "Papa
Jac" Assunto. Dad and brothers founded the Dukes of Dixieland in the late
1940's and it gained national popularity. The band was featured on the very first
stereo record, released in 1957.
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|Imperial Band : Big Eye Louis Nelson, center, clarinet; rear, right, cornetist Manuel Perez
|At the West End resort on Lake Pontchartrain: Abbie Brunies,
Charlie Cordilla and Emil "Stale Bread" Lacoume; about 1903.
|Onward Brass Band, about 1913. Manuel Perez is at the left; 3rd from left is Peter
Bocage; next to him, Lorenzo Tio, Jr., teacher of many great clarinetists.
|Tuxedo Brass Band, also, led by Papa
Celestin. Three of the musicians in the
photo on the left were destined to be
important names in Chicago days:
Jimmy Noone (rear, left); John Lindsay
(rear, right); Johnny St. Cyr (front, right).