Don Neely by Matias Bombal March 2019

Don Neely’s Royal Society Jazzes On

One can’t imagine the vintage music scene today without the influence of Don Neely, the founder of the long-running Royal Society Jazz Orchestra. The California-based

bix beiderbecke jean goldkette orchestra snake

Texas Shout #55 “Traditional”

Set forth below is the fifty-fifth “Texas Shout” column. It first appeared in the October 1994 issue of the West Coast Rag, now known as

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

Marla Dixon Fist

Texas Shout #53 Routines and Roadmaps

Set forth below is the fifty-third “Texas Shout” column. The initial installment of a two-part essay, it first appeared in the August 1994 issue of

Vince Giordano by Aidan Grant

An Important Message from Vince Giordano

What are you—yes YOU—doing to keep traditional jazz alive? That was the recurring theme of my recent conversation with Vince Giordano, leader of the Nighthawks,

Stephanie Trick Scott Joplin 2019

From the 38th Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival

The Thursday afternoon concert featured new pieces by contemporary composers such as Vincent Johnson, Marty Mincer, John Reed-Torres, and Martin Spitznagel, the latter two playing their own works. This added a welcome variety

Eddie Lang

Eddie Lang: Profiles in Jazz

The finest jazz guitarist of his short lifetime, Eddie Lang was masterful as both a melodic soloist and a sophisticated accompanist, whether playing bluesy single-note

Billie Holiday Profiles in Jazz

Billie Holiday: Profiles in Jazz

She had a small voice that could not compare to that of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. She never scatted and her improvising tended to

Carousel Bar New Orleans 1960s

New Orleans’ Carousel Bar Turns 70

The Carousel Bar inside the Hotel Monteleone in the two hundred block of Royal Street is the only revolving bar in New Orleans. Installed on

Hager(July 1898) phonoscop

Fred Hager tangles with Victor Herbert

In 1895, a twenty year old Fred W. Hager organized his military orchestra of 26 musicians. At that time, Hager was the youngest professional bandleader

Arthur Pryor and another bandmember

Arthur Pryor and the Birth of Ragtime

In 1893, twenty two year old Arthur Pryor performed his first trombone solo with Sousa’s Band. The time and place couldn’t have been better. The

Justin Ring 1903

Justin Ring’s Fifty Years on Record

Some folks are content to run things from behind the scenes, Justin Ring was one of these. Just as with Eddie King, Ring’s name appears


Everybody Comes to Curley’s!

David Boeddinghaus, Banu Gibson, Tim Laughlin, Chloe Feoranzo, The entire Baker/Clancy family, Ralf and John Reynolds, Bob Ringwald, Dawn Lambeth, Chet Jaeger, and Pieter Meijers

Trial by Jury WS GIlbert


I recently observed that, in your youth, you know you have a dear friend if they help you move. At my age, if they show

Lashley Hadlock Tiburon 1985

Barbara Lashley, A Love Affair with Song

“It was always hard to believe, for most of us who worked with Barbara, that any jazz singer could be that sweet and that uncomplicated.She

I'm sorry I made you cry

A Sincere Apology

Hi folks. I’ve been writing this regular column for a few years now, a pursuit that I’ve very much enjoyed. However, recently I received a

Inside the Musicians Brain

The Mind of the Jazz Musician

Jazz musicians are highly trained professionals, just as in any other skilled professional field. Whilst on stage, it may appear to the causal observer that

Sound Check Guy

The Sound Guy

Performing live cuts to the essence of what we do as jazz musicians. We love performing in intimate settings (because jazz is traditionally acoustic music)

Melton Family John Melton Photo

My Musical Family

My column requires a disclaimer this month because frankly, it amounts to little more than a grandfather bragging obnoxiously about his grandchildren. That written, I’ve

Orr School before 1020 300x178 - Joplin's Landmark School

Joplin’s Landmark School

In my April 2018 column, I wrote of the accomplishments of the good people of Texarkana and the work they are doing to preserve their

Elliot Adams and Michael Chisholm at the 2017 Santa Cruz Ragtime Festival

Michael Chisholm’s Labors of Love

Making new friends and learning more about older acquaintances is one of the many rewards of being part of the on-line ragtime community. I am

Jimmy Haislip trombone

Jimmy Haislip (1936-2017)

We belatedly note the passing of the excellent trombonist Jimmy Haislip, of St. Louis, who died on December 31, 2017 at 81. He started his

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