[Ads-l] Possible area for JAZZ antedating

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 4 15:11:09 UTC 2015

For reference, the earliest New Orleans reference to "jazz" that I've
seen is from the Nov. 12, 1916 issue of the newspaper The New Orleans
States (via GenealogyBank). This is two days earlier than the New
Orleans Picayune article that I reported on here:


Both articles are about New Orleans stage hands preparing a "jas
parade" as part of their annual ball, as a way for New Orleans to
stake its proper claim to jazz (the music, if not the word), which was
already heavily associated with Chicago. Text of the 11/12/16 article
follows below.

New Orleans States, Nov. 12, 1916, p. 16, col. 5
'Jas Band' Purely MINO Product
Stage Employes Rally to Block Chicago Claim
New Orleans laurels are again in danger. A recent article in a New
York theatrical journal credited Chicago with having discovered a new
form of music known as the "jas band," and predicted that the city by
the lake had adopted it for its latest fad.
Investigation proves that the "jas bands" have flourished in the New
Orleans tango belts, and have frequently been heard on the New Orleans
streets for many years prior to the advent of the cabarets, and that
the Chicago organizations are nothing more than imitations of the real
thing in this form of music.
Now, in order that the "jas bands" receive formal recognition in New
Orleans, the theatrical employes of the city are planning a big "jas
band" parade for November 23, the same being the date of the annual
ball of the stage employes. They have engaged the best and largest of
the "jas bands" and have chartered a flock of automobiles for the
occasion. For this occasion, the "boys behind the scenes" are coming
out into the open, and they are going to have the actors and actresses
as their guests, both in the parade and at the ball at night.

On Sat, Jul 4, 2015 at 8:37 AM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> In addition to San Francisco and Chicago, I believe the evidence for the word
> "jazz" from San Antonio and Indianapolis also predates that for New Orleans.
> On Sat, Jul 4, 2015 at 8:10 AM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
>> Assuming that the research area Dave is suggesting involves the word "jazz"
>> (as opposed to musical developments under other names), it should be emphasized
>> that there is considerable evidence that the word developed in San Francisco and
>> Chicago rather than in New Orleans.
>>> On Sat, Jul 4, 2015 at 1:22 AM, Dave Hause wrote:
>>> A random discovery that could lead to unexplored areas for those interested.
>>> The excerpt below is about 2/3 of the way down the page and I think this may
>>> be a little earlier than some of the posters here have mentioned.
>>> Dave Hause
>>> http://www.risingsunbnb.com/the-song
>>> "The 1888 city directory listed a Rising Sons of Liberty Hall on the east
>>> side of Valence Street between Camp and Chestnut Streets. It does not appear
>>> in the 1889 directory but is listed from 1890 to 1897 as the Rising Sons of
>>> Liberty Benevolent Association (colored). It is listed from 1901 to 1903 as
>>> the Rising Sun Hall, 1019 Valence Street with no further mentions after
>>> that.
>>> "Also from 1890 to 1897 is listed the Rising Sun Hall on Clinton Street
>>> between DeArmas and Macarty Streets in the 7th District, not to be confused
>>> with the previous one. Across the street on the same block was the Morning
>>> Star Society Hall from 1885 to 1894. The street names changed in 1895 to
>>> 1897 and an address is given – 258 Cherokee between Mississippi and Macarty
>>> Streets.
>>> "These halls were benevolent association halls and at the height of their
>>> popularity around the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th
>>> centuries. They were the birthplaces of the new music of the time called
>>> Jazz."

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