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Dixieland

Louis Armstrong, jazz trumpeter
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What is Dixieland Music

Dixieland Music – or Dixie, Early Jazz, Hot Jazz and New Orleans Jazz (to give it a full list of names) originated in New Orleans at the beginning of the 20th century, soon spreading to Chicago and New York City. Everybody knows at least one Dixieland song, even if they didn’t know it was Dixieland (no, I’m not referring to Elvis wishing he was in Dixie), I mean “When the Saints Go Marching In” – there, I told you that you knew at least one didn’t I, even if you’re not really a die hard jazz fan.  As you might have guessed by now, Dixieland is all brass band marches with ragtime and blues and Dixieland bands have the usual line up of trumpets and trombones, but also have a rhythm section with guitars, banjos, tuba, piano or something similar – although pianos are difficult to march with, unless you have a big truck.

Representative Dixieland Musicians

Dixieland music was pretty short lived in the mainstream, making way for swing in the 1930’s, and unfortunately many of the dixieland musicians simply faded away and retired. The revival wasn’t far away though, and during the 1940’s and 50’s it was back, bringing many of the old retirees back for a second bite at the cherry. The band which most people strongly associate with Dixieland has to be Louis Armstrong and the All Stars, as well as Muggsy Spanier and Eddie Condon.  Dixieland jazz music has survived to this day, although now there are four different active streams, namely Chicago Style, West Coast revival, New Orleans Traditional and Dutch “Old Style” Jazz.

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