ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Music

New Orleans Jazz: I wish I heard Buddy Bolden say

Updated on July 10, 2009
The Buddy Bolden Band
The Buddy Bolden Band

Many believe Buddy Bolden to be the father of New Orleans Jazz (and some believe the little known Louis Gottschalk, the grandfather). A few go so far to say that Buddy Bolden was the inventor of Jazz.

That is probably farfetched but there is no doubt that Buddy Bolden was an important innovator in the evolution of New Orleans music at the turn of the 20th century. More than likely everyone was learning and innovating from each other. There was a significant number of dance bands in New Orleans in 1900, though they did not play in the famed brothels of Storyville. They did play in the honky-tonks and dance halls throughout the city and region including those in Storyville and black Storyville.

Buddy Bolden was born in 1877. He lived his life in uptown New Orleans. He was not part of the 7th Ward black Creole society, descendants of French speaking slaves and mistresses of New Orleans white Creole society. His heritage probably affected his music. Before Jazz dominated New Orleans music, when ragtime and dance music was dominate, black Creole bands considered themselves and their music somewhat more refined than the crowd across Canal Street. Bolden felt no such self-imposed limitations.

There was plenty of music in New Orleans the late 19th century. Brass bands were common on the streets. These were the inheritors of a European musical tradition especially in the Mediterranean countries. They were often associated with ethnic benevolent associations. They played at association events, funerals, weddings, and parades. There were the 7th Ward black Creole dance bands. Leaders and members could often read music and they played all sorts of dances and were fairly refined. The same was true of white bands. And there were the hotter bands, ragtime dance bands – black and white.

Buddy Bolden played the cornet, the common high note instrument of brass bands. Today, most often trumpets play the cornet's part. But in early jazz, the cornet was king, played by Louis Armstrong and King Oliver. Like King Oliver, Buddy Bolden was part of jazz royalty and often called King Bolden.

Bolden is said to have added blues to ragtime and playing a more improvisational and looser combination of the two. He was supposed to be the first to play blues with brass instruments. He could not read music so his interpretations were original. String instruments became the rhythm section. The cornet, trombones, and clarinets fronted the band. If all of this is true, he probably can be called the inventor of jazz.

More likely the form evolved, though too much is credited to Bolden for him not to have been a key player in the creation of the form.

Buddy Bolden's career was short-lived. His band was at the top from about 1900 to about 1907. He was an acute alcoholic, and in 1907 he was packed away to a mental institution diagnosed with a form of dementia now commonly termed a form of schizophrenia.

He died in 1931 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Holt Cemetery, a city owned cemetery in New Orleans. His actual grave site in not known although a monument to Bolden was erected in the cemetery in 1998. This is an in-ground cemetery that sadly has been badly neglected by the city since Hurricane Katrina.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)