Despite mythologies about jazz as continuous spontaneous improvisation generated by critics in the 1930s, in New Orleans the music evolved from experiments that were based in 'trial and error' interactions, combing various degrees of musical skill and training. Jazz was therefore the result of a blending of amateur and conservatory traditions (based in new technology, such as the trap drum set, 'head' arrangements, musician 'voices,' and 'readers,' 'spellers,' and 'fakers'). This class looks at how New Orleans jazz musicians created individual "voices" on their instruments and how bands achieved identity through combining those components into a recognizable band sound through interactive "chemistry." Report on Kinzer due. Read Charles Hersch, Subversive Sounds: Race and the Birth of Jazz in New Orleans (Chicago, 2007) for next class.
Lorenzo Tio Jr (rear, 3rd from left) pictured with Piron's Band at Spanish Fort (circa 1920). Tio came from a long line of music educators specializing in clarinet.
Manuel Perez (trumpet at right) with his band at the Pythian Temple (1923). Perez was a major educator on the New Orleans scene when jazz was emerging in the 1910s.