The birthplace(s) of jazz


Download the mp3 here

Make sure you check out the video below.

You know the narrative…

“Jazz started in New Orleans and traveled to Chicago and Kansas City and New York.”

Historians are starting to come to a more sophisticated – and exciting – view of the music’s origins.

In this program we look at the unheralded role San Francisco played in the creation of jazz. In the second half of the 19th and early 20th century, San Francisco was the biggest and most dynamic city west of the Mississippi River and a place of dazzling diversity.

An international port, a vibrant Afro-American community, a prosperous place that supported a wide variety of live music venues and occasions – old San Francisco and the Bay Area had all the ingredients to be a hotbed for music creativity.

1914 – San Francisco – silent movie

Three years after this was filmed, the first jazz sound recording was made in 1917. It’s pretty clear, here was something going on in San Francisco well before the heralded “Jazz Age” began.

Who’s the band in the film?

The best scholarly guess is Sid LeProtti’s So Different Jazz Band, San Fransisco. Sid LeProtti, piano; Adam “Slocum” Mitchell, clarinet, and Gerald Wells, flute. Probably shot outdoors.

What are they dancing?

A quadrille (a square dance) – but with a difference. How I wish I could hear this music!

(1952) RAW UNEDITED – Turk Murphy interviews San Francisco jazz pianist Sid LeProtti (born 1886) – with music

Other Jazz on the Tube podcasts that touch on the diverse origins of jazz

The huge contribution of Texans and Oklahomans to jazz
https://www.jazzonthetube.com/interview-with-dave-oliphant-about-texan-jazz/

Afro-American “barbershop” and jazz
https://www.jazzonthetube.com/vic-hobson-and-the-roots-of-louis-armstrongs-music/

A broader view of the origins of jazz
https://www.jazzonthetube.com/interview-with-professor-douglas-henry-danielslester-leaps-in-jazz-in-asia-and-more/

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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