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As jazz traveled northward up the Mississippi River, it was influenced by composers and musicians, both black and white, in Memphis, St. Louis, Kansas City and elsewhere. In World War I days, jazz found a home on the south side of Chicago. There, young white musicians had the opportunity of hearing the New Orleans jazz played by its pioneers and took up the music.
The Chicagoans included Muggsy Spanier, Benny Goodman, Bix Beiderbecke, Jimmy McPartland, Eddie Condon, Gene Krupa and others. Their derivative music, with subtle differences from the original, became known as Chicago Style, or Dixieland.
In the 20s, the so-called jazz age, hot jazz was played everywhere. Then came the formation of large jazz orchestras, including those led by Fletcher Henderson and the McKinney Cotton Pickers. They set the pattern for arranged, big band jazz. This in turn inspired Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Chick Webb and others to develop the big swing bands of the 30s and 40s. The Big Band era helped sweep America out of the depression and through the World War II years. Postwar jazzmen went on to invent cool or modern jazz.
Today's jazz traditionalists, like those who comprise the Austin Traditional Jazz Society, are dedicated to promoting live performances of original "hot" jazz.
Traditionalists note that the original form of jazz has always been a prominent thread in the rich tapestry of American music. Major revival movements, such as the West Coast jazz movement led by Lu Watters and Turk Murphy, which began in World War II days, have run for decades. Historic jazz recordings have been re-issued continually, making the transition from LPs to tape cassettes to compact disks. European musicians love to play their renditions of traditional American jazz.
Across America today, traditional jazz is kept vibrant and alive through a network of jazz clubs which sponsor concerts and festivals. A new generation of bands are playing, and in many cases re-interpreting, the art form.
The Austin Traditional Jazz Society extends an invitation to everyone who loves traditional Dixieland jazz, or who wants to know more about it, to come join us at any of our concerts. Whether you perform or just listen, we want to share our "happy" music with you. Join ATJS to insure keeping in touch with traditional jazz in Central Texas.