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Papa Jack Laine“Papa” Jack Laine (September 21, 1873 – June 1, 1966) is often credited with being the first White Jazz musician. He was a drummer and saxophonist. He formed his first brass band in 1888. The band performed Ragtime and marching music. He went on to lead the Reliance Brass Band, which became popular enough for him to have several units playing under that name.

Many of the early New Orleans White Jazz musicians such as Tom Brown, Johnny Stein, Albert and George Brunies, Tony Parenti, Nick La Rocca and all of the other members of the Original Dixleland Jass Band played in the Reliance Brass Band at one time or the other. In 1917, Laine quit music and worked as a blacksmith, and later managed a garage. He never recorded during his prime but in the 1950s he can be heard briefly on an American Music recording playing a bass drum with a group that called itself Papa Laine’s Children in his honor.

Learn more from the National Park Service.

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