Today February 26th 2017 marks – by one contestable and contentious definition (*) – the centenary of jazz, in that it is the anniversary of the very first jazz recording, Livery Stable Blues by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
The ODJB was described at the time as “the first sensational, musical novelty of 1917. The jazz band is the latest craze that’s sweeping the nation like a musical thunderstorm, and it’s given modern dancing new life and a new thrill” by the New York Times.
ON THE THEME OF MARKING THE CENTENARY
* The BBC has a series of programmes presented by Kevin Le Gendre marking the centenary, with the title Jazzed Up: How Jazz Changed Britain (LINK TO THE PROGRAMMES)
*The Jazz Promotion Network has an initiative based around the hashtag #jazz100 (DETAILS)
*2017 is a year of other jazz centenaries – Thelonious Monk, Buddy Rich later in the year. The first major one is Ella Fitzgerald on April 25th. There will presumably be more as the date approaches but two celebrations that have already got away were by Clare Teal and Alison Jiear.
(*) For a full exegesis of the racial and other issues around this, the book “Prehistory of Jazz” by Maximilian Hendler is unfortuately so far only available in German.