Term Paper: New Orleans as a Focal

Pages: 5 (2241 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music

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[. . .] Morton was born in New Orleans to a French Creole family. His real name was Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe. Jazz experienced many changes during the 1930's and Morton faded into seclusion. In 1938, folklorist Alan Lomax recorded many interviews with Morton for the Library of Congress. Morton recounted his experiences in jazz while demonstrating the music on the piano. The interviews provided an invaluable account of the early days of jazz and renewed Morton's career. Morton made a few more outstanding recordings before his death, including The Crave and Winin' Boy Blues (Tirro, 2001).

Joe Oliver, known as King Oliver, earned his name after establishing himself as the best performer throughout New Orleans. During the Storyville era, Oliver met Louis Armstrong. Armstrong's jazz career began on New Year's Eve in 1914 when he was arrested for shooting a pistol. He was sent to the Colored Waifs Home and there he learned to play the cornet. His skill increased with practice. When he was finally released, he was proficient enough to begin playing for pay. He teamed up with his idol, King Oliver, and they begin to tour throughout the country. Lacking a son of his own, Oliver became a father figure to Armstrong. Armstrong referred to him as Papa Joe. When Storyville closed down, Oliver left and Armstrong replaced him in his old band's position. However, by 1922, Oliver asked Armstrong to accompany him to Chicago to play in his Creole Jazz Band.

Louis Armstrong became of the most influential and durable of all the jazz artists. He was one of the most famous people in the world and this enabled him to take his music beyond the French Quarter of New Orleans. In 1929, Armstrong played in a New York revue called "Hot Chocolates." There he gained his first big song, Ain't Misbehavin'. This was a turning point to his career. Then in 1932, Armstrong acquired his nickname, "Satchmo" when he headlined the show at the London Palladium. In 1964, his recording of "Hello Dolly" bounced the Beatles off the Top 40 List. As his health begin to decline, he kept up a heavy schedule of international touring and he died in his sleep at home in Corna, Queens just days after his seventieth birthday.

Dixieland bands began forming in New Orleans during the jazz era. These were primarily white bands and were expected to play music beside the black bands in the popular areas of the city, such as Storyville. The term "Dixieland" derived from the word "dixie." It is a name often given to the southern part of the United States. There are several explanations for this name. A Louisiana bank once printed $10 bills bearing the French word dix, which means ten. According to one story, people called Louisiana "Dix's Land," and then shortened it to Dixie. Over time, Dixie came to mean the entire South. In another story, a slave owner named Dixie, was said to be kind to his slaves. "Dixie's Land" became known in many Southern stories as a happy, comfortable place to live. Gradually, the term came to refer to the South (World Book, 2001). The Dixieland bands spread the popularity of an upbeat music that stretched across the southern states.

While New Orleans is the most logical place where jazz could have been born there is one historical problem that results from this concept. While the rich and diverse culture lends itself to incorporate tradition to the variety of music that developed from an earlier era it also incorporates a shady scene that revolves around crime and illegal activity. The back streets of New Orleans and the dark alleys were jazz was developed were also home to corruption and greed. However, with the onset and popularity of jazz, jazz fans that have migrated into more acceptable recreational areas may overlook the "dark side" of the music. Jazz is listened to by a wider variety of listeners and festivals revolve around its creation.

New Orleans remains home to the music and is also fondly known as "Jazzland." Festivals find various types of music as their theme and include styles of Zydeco, Cajun, and Raga, but when asked, people will always first say that New Orleans is the home of the beloved Jazz of Louis Armstrong.

Works Cited

Barlow, W. And Morgan, T. From Cakewalks to Concert Halls: An Illustrated History of African-American Popular Music,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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New Orleans as a Focal.  (2004, April 21).  Retrieved December 10, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/new-orleans-focal/6149703

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