Jazz Avatars

This class focuses on trumpeter Buddy Bolden as a symbol of cultural change. "Great Man theory" posits the role of individuals as significant in achieving historical change, but environment can enhance or inhibit one's choices and actions. This chapter explores the life and career of cornetist Charles "Buddy" Bolden with regard to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and class in the context of the Uptown African American underclass. It also traces Bolden’s impact on competitors through the reconfiguration of New Orleans' popular entertainment market driven by changing dance fashions among young people. Report on Marquis due. Read White Michael G., "The New Orleans Brass Band: A Cultural Tradition," in The Triumph of the Soul: Cultural and Psychological Aspects of African American Music, edited by Ferdinand Jones and Arthur C. Jones (2001), 69-96. (report due next class).

Storyville's main drag, Basin Street (circa 1905)

Spencer Williams' Basin Street Blues, his homage to The District, where he grew up