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Mid- Week Beat: New Orleans & the Birth of Jazz

2368151299_10901a5dae_zThis week is a big one for New Orleans and the authentic American art form it spawned: jazz. As we all know, next Tuesday is Fat Tuesday and the streets of the Crescent City are currently loaded with brass bands filling the air with the sweet music that only a city with such a diverse and turbulent history could create. But Mardi Gras isn’t the only reason this is a notable week in New Orleans music.

On this day, in 1917, the first jazz record was recorded for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York. The group was The Original Dixieland Jass Band and the song was “Livery Stable Blues” with the B-side of the 78 rpm record being “Dixie Jass Band One Step.” The record is steeped in controversy as it was recorded by a group of white musicians who billed themselves as “The Creators of Jazz” and claimed authorship over jazz standards that had been played by African-American musicians for some time prior to the first recordings. In fact, musicians like Jelly Roll Morton, Buddy Bolden, King Oliver, Sidney Bechet and Kid Ory had already popularized jazz as a musical form in New Orleans long before The Original Dixieland Jass Band took their versions up north.

Most of America, however, was unaware of the musical developments happening in New Orleans and for many, “Livery Stable Blues” was their first exposure to this wild new sound. The record was a surprise hit and its release ushered in what would become known as “The Jazz Age.” So, while the record is indicative of the racism of the times, it did bring the wild and wondrous sounds of New Orleans into the homes of more Americans than ever before and, in its way, helped white audiences to appreciate this African-American music as the sophisticated art form that it was. Without the success of this record we never would have heard the wonderful strains of Louis Armstrong’s cornet in King Oliver’s first recordings for Okeh and Gennett just a few years later, when the jazz boom was in full swing.

So, this week, in honor of New Orleans, Mardi Gras and the birth of recorded jazz music, we’re going to feature some upcoming jazz concerts that pay tribute to the Crescent City and the early years of jazz.
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Mardi Gras Mayhem – Brass Bands, Beads and Crawfish Boils

Mardi-Gras-2011Two things that we love here at Brown Paper Tickets: Mardi Gras and brass bands! And there’s no other brass band that we love more than our buddies in Tubaluba. They marched with us at last year’s Gay Pride Parade here in Seattle and proved, without question, that they are the hottest, funkiest 2nd line brass band this side of the Big Easy.

With Fat Tuesday fast approaching, it’s time to start making your Mardi Gras plans and if you’re in Seattle, you’re in luck because Tubaluba are not only hosting a Mardi Gras bash at The Tractor Tavern but are also hosting a party bus that will take you to FOUR other Mardi Gras parties around town.

Mardi Gras revellers will meet at The Tractor Tavern at 4pm and then head over to Lower Queen Anne’s Tolouse Petit where Tubaluba will perform between 5 and 6pm. The party train will then head to the Capitol Hill neighborhood for KEXP’s Mardi Gras Bash at Havana Social Club. Next, is the Fremont neighborhood where Tubaluba will play at Nectar Lounge‘s Mardi Gras party. After Fremont, Tubaluba will head to their final destination, Ballard, where they will lead a parade down Ballard Avenue at 10pm, culminating in Tubaluba’s headlining performance on the Tractor Tavern stage. Your ticket to the party bus will get you admission into ALL these incredible Mardi Gras parties, complimentary beverages (including water), snacks and a commemorative Tubaluba Mardi Gras T-shirt. These tickets won’t last long so GET YOURS NOW!


Of course, for those of you not in Seattle, there are a ton of other Mardi Gras events going on nationwide, including, naturally, the home of Mardi Gras: New Orleans. We wanted to share a few of our favorites so you can start making party plans in your own neck of the woods.
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