Welcome to the ODJB jazz history and information page.
The Original Dixieland Jass Band was formed in 1916 with five talented musicians from New Orleans who all travelled to and were performing in Chicago. Their early influences came from performing as sidemen with the bands lead by Papa Jack Laine, Braun’s Military Band and other Ragtime or society groups. They may have also been influence by a few other bands or groups performing in and around New Orleans during the early 1900’s. The group’s leader, Dominic James “Nick” LaRocca, was definitely influenced by the music of the Opera House in New Orleans and John Phillip Sousa, as these were his idols. The music they performed and recorded was their own and the band made American music history. It is natural for people worldwide to be proud of the accomplishments of this great American band.
Below is a timeline of key important musicians/icons from New Orleans and some important information to help understand early New Orleans jazz.
George "Papa Jack" Laine (1873) - not recorded. Leader of a brass band in the late 1800's and early 1900's that was a seed band for many young sidemen who became famous jazz musicians.
The Onward Brass Band (1st band): was in play from the late 1800's and early 1900's. They didn't record. This was also a seed band for many musicians who later became known as jazz musicians, such as King Oliver. The amazing drummer, Paul Barbarin lead a rendition of the band in the 1960's. There is a current band in play today that recorded in 2009.
Buddy Bolden (1877) - not recorded and not a jazz musician as the musical definition term did not exist during his years as a performer.
Joe "King" Oliver (1885) first recorded jazz in 1923
Edward "Kid" Ory (1886) first recorded jazz in 1922
Nick LaRocca (1889) first recorded jass in 1917 Original Dixieland Jass band ... the very first jass recordings for both Victor and Columbia records. The band name changed between 1918-1919 to include Jazz and they secured the name as a musical definition term from that point forward. These first records outsold any others until 1923 and most bands changed there size and sound to follow the successful recordings of the ODJB.
Freddie Keppard (1889) first recorded jazz in 1926
Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton (1890) first recorded jazz in 1923
Sydney Bechet (1897) first recorded jazz in 1924 then under his own name in 1932
Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong (1901) first recorded jazz in 1923 then under his own name in 1925