April 2021
Browse the April Issue
Noble Sissle: A Messenger of Musical Uplift

Noble Sissle: A Messenger of Musical Uplift

Singer-lyricist-bandleader-entertainer, Noble Sissle occupies an unusual place in the world of ragtime, jazz and show business. He was one of the best-known musicians of the

George Orendorff on Hearing Bix

George Orendorff on Hearing Bix

In our March issue, Dan Barrett recalled a gig with trumpeter George Orendorff and the story that George told about playing the trumpet break before

King Oliver's Jazz Band

On the Road with King Oliver

In 1991, I had been chasing the music of Joe “King” Oliver and Louis Armstrong for seven or eight years. By “chasing,” I mean I

Muggsy Spanier and his V-Disc All-Stars

The Story of V Discs

As someone who has had a lifelong love affair with jazz, an interesting question came up in a ZOOM interview I recently had with Dan

Joe St. John: A Tale in Two Jazz Cities

Joe St. John: A Tale in Two Jazz Cities

Saxophonist, Joseph Robert St. John had a thirty-year career in Manhattan and Detroit. His New York band battled the great Chick Webb Orchestra and shared a


Different types of Ukulele tunings

As Ukulele is becoming more popular people are learning the basics of string names and a few basic chords, as well as all the different

Texas Shout #63 Festival Bands and Repertoire

The Return of the Festivals

Here’s the post-Valentine’s Day wish of every jazz musician: Roses are Red, Violets are blue— We just want some gigs (And a festival or two).

Terry Waldo

Pianist Terry Waldo: Wit and Wizardry

The Fungus Five plus Two (“our music grows on you,”) the Gutbucket Syncopators, Waldo’s Ragtime Orchestra, and The Gotham City Jazz Band are only a

Viola Smith’s Century in Music: An Interview with the World's Oldest Drummer.

Texas Shout #12 Women in Dixieland

Editors Note: As I was reading Tex Wyndham’s book of collected Shouts this spring I had a growing feeling that they should be shared again.

Texas Shout #3 Hot Dance

Texas Shout #3 Hot Dance

Set forth below is the third “Texas Shout” column, reprinted from the February 1990 issue of The American Rag (then West Coast Rag). It was

Shaye Cohn Head Tap

Texas Shout #54 Jazz Band Hand Signals

Set forth below is the fifty-fourth “Texas Shout” column. The concluding installment of a two-part essay, (part 1,) it first appeared in the September 1994

A cold live show with Champian Fulton

A cold live show with Champian Fulton

Like many of you since the onset of COVID, I’ve been itching to be able to attend live music events and festivals. There just haven’t

Cliff Edwards: Profiles in Jazz

Cliff Edwards: Profiles in Jazz

He was a very popular singer and entertainer who, as “Ukulele Ike,” had major accomplishments in the 1920s, he appeared in many films in the

Louis Prima

Louis Prima: Profiles in Jazz

Throughout his long career, Louis Prima was a New Orleans-based trumpeter, a good-humored singer, and a lovable personality. While his wide-ranging career can easily be

Johnny Hodges

Johnny Hodges: Profiles in Jazz

He had the most beautiful tone of anyone ever on alto-sax and possibly of all saxophonists (although Stan Getz on tenor came close). When he

More Bits and Pieces

More Bits and Pieces

The Orpheum Theater in New Orleans is celebrating its 100th birthday and re-introducing the new Double Dealer speakeasy under the theater. Resembling the backstage setting

Dave Bennet finale

Quarter Notes: Bits and Pieces

The Preservation Hall Foundation has started a new virtual instruction program with lesson plans that apply to K-12 educators, students, and parents. Access is free

Mardi Gras Reads

Mardi Gras Reads

The streets of the French Quarter will be quiet this year as all parade permits and celebrated balls have been cancelled and outside gatherings will

With CalBal Live, We Need Not Stop Dancing

With CalBal Live, We Need Not Stop Dancing

As much as I’ve missed dancing during the pandemic—more than I can express, really—it’s not something I’ve sought out online. People have put a ton

Hager's Two Dollar Overtures

Hager’s Two Dollar Overtures

In 1903, two of the major disc record companies ventured into unexplored territory: long playing records. The Victor talking machine company and Columbia phonograph company

Bass Drum Conundrum

Bass Drum Conundrum

In the 19th century, the bass drum in military bands was essential. The use of bass drums continued into the earliest days of recording, but

Randi Cee

Clichés in the COVID Cabaret

I am a bacon-wrapped cliché, an idiom in puffed pastry. And sometimes I am the wrong that proves the right. I have been absent from

Social Distance Line

Keep Your ?#@*&%! Distance!

My eyes are drilling into a Walgreens cashier as she chats up a small boy with his family. I look to the other person in

Bobby Bruce: Twentieth Century Fiddler

Bobby Bruce: Twentieth Century Fiddler

Fiddler Bobby Bruce lived one of the longest and most diverse professional music careers I’ve encountered, performing and arranging for seven decades in Vaudeville, Jazz,

Spud Murphy

Lyle “Spud” Murphy: Unsung Hero of Swing

Arranger, composer and multi-instrumentalist Spud Murphy wrote 600 charts for the top Swing orchestras of the 1930s, creating colorful and dynamic arrangements that shaped the

Hoarder Record Collection

For the Record

The way we listen to music has changed a lot in the last decade. And I, probably like many of you, have been absorbing music

Can this Marriage Be Saved Adrian crop

Saxophone Repair

As professional musicians, our instruments are our tools of the trade. So, it’s important to keep that instrument in the best possible working condition. Regular

medieval musicians Feede ye Kittye

Busking is the New Normal

Over the past Spring in New York, I spent time busking in Central Park with some old friends, many of whom I haven’t played with

200 Memorable Missouri Musical Memories

Celebrating Missouri’s Music

If anything can dispel the gloom of a negative historical anniversary, it is music. That seems to have been what motivated Dr. Michael J. Budds

Carolina ’Cue Wars…

Carolina ’Cue Wars…

I believe I have made more valuable and lasting friendships in the past year of so-called social isolation, than I have made in the past

TST 5th Anniversary Project

TST 5th Anniversary Project

As I begin writing this column for February, we are only a week into the new year. However, I have already had what will be

Marek Boym

Marek Boym 1941- 2021, RIP

Marek Boym passed March 31, a few days after his 80th birthday. I’ve been a lifelong Jazz enthusiast and, at age 76, considered myself fairly

Syncopated Times Radio

New Trad Jazz & Swing releases, interviews, live concerts, and a full roster of radio hosts.


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