early cite for "jass" band(1916)

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Wed Apr 21 05:08:46 UTC 2004

While not an antedating(although it's right in there) I assume it helps to fill in the gaps.  I don't think we'll truly find significant earlier cites until Chicago papers(and hopefully New Orleans someday) make it into a searchable database.

Fred Shapiro asked in a 2003 post  http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0312C&L=ads-l&P=R3757
about the earliest cite for the music sense of "jazz/jass" or any variant.  He cited the 27 Oct. 1916 Variety listing in HDAS.  And then offered that in a book, there was mention of a Sept. 30, 1916 Chicago Defender article talking about a 'jass band'.  

16 Oct. 1916, _Indianapolis(IN) Star_ 4/2

<<The Jass Band, which will be heard all this week as the added attraction, is unquestionably a "musical riot."  Ragtime is its speciality, and it is played in such a way that even the most sedate will find it hard to keep their feet still.>>

This was an article about shows at a local theater.  There were three additional items in the next week about the band.  The next day there was an ad proclaiming 

<<Extra special attraction/  Wickliffe's Ginger JASS BAND/Kings of Syncopation>>

At the end of the week, an article said 

<<The Jass Band, which has created such a sensation, will be seen another week and an entire new program of popular dance airs will be given.>>

The rest, as they say, is history.

Sam Clements

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