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Tom Brown's Band From Dixieland

Tom Brown's Band From Dixieland
Tom Brown’s Band From Dixieland (1921)

In 1913 there was a famous vaudeville stuttering comedian and dancer called Joe Frisco. His act Frisco and McDermott was playing in New Orleans and a group of local musicians were assembled as a back-up band by New Orlean’s trombonist Tom Brown. Frisco was so impressed with the “Jass” music he heard that he kept talking about it when he returned to Chicago.

In 1915 Frisco asked Brown to assemble a group and bring them north for an engagement at Lamb’s Cafe in Chicago. The band proved to be a popular attraction. Another local promoter also wanted a “Jass” band and went to New Orleans where he found one called Stein’s Dixie Jass Band. This band would later form the nucleus of the Original Dixieland Jass Band.

Tom Brown’s Band from Dixieland (the four rubes of vaudeville) which accompanied jazz dancer Frisco. Tom Brown (trombone), Ray Lopez (cornet), Larry Shields (clarinet), Arnold Loyocano (piano). (Louisiana Digital Library)

Tom Brown’s band toured the vaudeville circuit, but didn’t like all of the travel and broke up. A New York promoter contacted Brown about a job, not knowing that his band had broken up, and Brown recommended Stein’s Dixie Jass Band for the gig. Stein didn’t want to go, but the rest of the band accepted and moved to New York where they became the Original Dixieland Jass Band and went on to record the first Jazz record in 1917.

Steve BrownBass
Tom BrownTrombone
William LambertDrums
Ray LopezCornet
Arnold LoyocanoGuitar
Paul MaresCornet
Gus MeullerClarinet
Yellow NuņezClarinet
Larry ShieldsClarinet


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