“There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad. I play the good kind.” –Louis Armstrong
New Orleans is well known as the birthplace of Dixieland jazz. Dixieland is the style of jazz that was performed by New Orleans jazz musicians in the early twentieth century. It combines blues, biguine, brass band marches, French quadrilles and ragtime with polyphonic improvisation. The term Dixieland became widely used after the Original Dixieland Jass Band achieved great success with their million-selling records in 1917.
A typical Dixieland band consists of a front line with a trumpet, trombone and clarinet, and a rhythm section with a guitar or banjo, string bass or tuba, piano, and drums. Dixieland’s unique sound is created when a front line instrument plays a melody or a recognizable paraphrase, and the other instruments improvise around that melody.
Did you know?
- Royal Street in the French Quarter is closed to traffic between St Louis and St Ann streets each afternoon to create a pedestrian mall where street performers entertain daily.
- More than 700,000 people attended the French Quarter Festival in 2014.
- The French Quarter Festival is the largest, free music festival in the Southern United States.
- More than 1,400 local musicians play during the French Quarter Festival.
- The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch is held in Jackson Square during the French Quarter Festival.
- During the festival, there are 21 stages throughout the French Quarter celebrating local music.
- Satchmo SummerFest is a free festival that is held during the first full weekend each August on the grounds of the Louisiana State Museum’s Old US Mint.
- More than 2,000 volunteers help make the festivals a success.
- Satchmo SummerFest hosts New Orleans restaurants, known as Red Bean Alley, with Louis Armstrong-inspired dishes and local cuisine.
- Free Satchmo seminars are held on the third floor of the Old US Mint.
- An opening day parade begins at Washington Artillery Park at 700 Decatur Street at 10:40 AM.
- Pops Playhouse for Kids offers free family fun activities on Saturday and Sunday on the second floor of the Old US Mint.
- Activities for kids include Learning with Louis, collage making, Zulu coconut decorating, red bean maraca and harmonica making, and second-line umbrella decoration.
- A Jazz Mass is held on the first Sunday in August at the church of Sidney Bechet at 1210 Governor Nicholls Street.
- Following the Jazz Mass, the Satchmo Salute Second Line Parade proceeds from the church to Satchmo SummerFest at the Old US Mint.