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The Chitlin’ Circuit…What was it and why was it so important?

During segregation, travel through the South by African-Americans was fraught with difficulties and even outright lethal peril.

This made the logistics of touring for musicians even more difficult than they already are.

Yet, musician and bands managed to travel throughout the South spreading great music and great musicianship everywhere.

What made this possible?

The “Chitlin’ Circuit”, an infrastructure of venues, hotels and restaurants in cities across the U.S. that catered to traveling African-American musicians.

One of the best developed stops on the circuit in the country and the most important one in New Orleans was the Dew Drop Inn.

By great good fortune I stumbled on this day long conference on my January 2017 research trip to New Orleans. Thanks to our Jazz on the Tube supporters who made this trip possible.


– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz Oral History
New Orleans sketch book - January 2017

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