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Traditional New Orleans Jazz

Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music

by Thomas W. Jacobsen

264 pages / 5.50 x 8.50 inches / 19 halftones

ebook available


  Paperback / 9780807137796 / March 2011

About a century after its beginnings, traditional jazz remains the definitive music of New Orleans and an international hallmark of the city. The enduring sound and boundless energy of this American art form have produced a long list of jazz legends. From Lionel Ferbos--the city's oldest working jazz musician--to Grammy winner Irvin Mayfield, the musical heritage of traditional jazz lives on through each player's passion. In Traditional New Orleans Jazz, veteran jazz journalist Thomas Jacobsen discusses that legacy with Ferbos, Mayfield, and a who's who of the present-day scene's "trad jazz" players.

Through intimate conversations with jazz veterans and up-and-coming talent, Jacobsen elicits honest, witty, and sometimes comedic discussions that reveal a strong mutual devotion to do one thing--compose and play music inspired by the Crescent City's earliest jazz musicians.

Traditional New Orleans Jazz presents local perspectives on what has become an international language with interviews from Lucien Barbarin, Evan Christopher, Duke Heitger, Leroy Jones, Dr. Michael White, and many more. Jacobsen also notes the stewardship of traditional jazz means more than making music. Its longevity relies on teaching and innovation, furthering the inextricable ties between the music and the men who make it. Traditional New Orleans jazz is a culture of its own, and the players in this remarkable volume are its native speakers.

Thomas W. Jacobsen received his doctoral degree in classical archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania and is professor emeritus at Indiana University. He taught at Vanderbilt University and has been a visiting professor at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece, and Tulane University. Jacobsen, a resident of New Orleans for the last two decades, has published extensively on New Orleans jazz in The Mississippi Rag and The Clarinet magazine among several other jazz periodicals.

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