by Sherese Timeless-Composer, Producer-Eliyora Entertainment
The creation of Jazz is actually quite a bit more rambunctious than the Jazz History you’ve been told. The story that Jazz was conceived in the brothels of Bourbon Street, well, just isn’t true. When I read this story in an Introduction to Jazz textbook back in college, something just didn’t seem to fit and I imagined the “establishment” of the day making it up to disparage this new wild music just as they had ragtime. But I wondered why the story had lasted through time. As a musician, I longed to know the real story, my gut — and my ear — telling me there had to be way more to it.
That stuck with me — until I moved to New Orleans and dug up a book by a local professor/musician on a corner shelf of the Old Mandeville library I’d never heard of that wasn’t even listed in the library catalog. Sure enough! The bordello piano players’ ears were already filled with “Jass” before they started filling Bourbon street with this infectious new music.
I had to leave New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina due to health. I only got to live there for a little over three years and never got to do my music in the Big Easy. But if discovering the truth about Jazz was all I was meant to get out of living in New Orleans — then it was worth it.
It was one of the most liberating, exhilarating, ah-ha experiences of my life, as I devoured the details of how Jazz was really born. This was a fit! The creation of Jazz came to life for me as if I could hear it, taste it, feel it, as if I was there taking part in the moment of conception. Piecing everything I now knew together, I realized that the courtship dance that led to the birth of Jazz was of course found in non-stop music all around New Orleans, and especially after the Jim Crow laws were finally instituted in New Orleans, and the Creoles then had no choice but to mix the highbrow European music they played with The Blues of former slaves (I’m sure to the dismay of Jim Crow supporters). But where it really seemed to click for me as a musician, getting down to the nitty gritty of actually inventing Jazz, was reading Louis Armstrong talk about upwards of 60 parties happening all at once on Lake Pontchartrain every weekend…(look for Sherese Timeless’ book on the conception of Jazz coming soon!)
Eliyora Entertainment LLC. Ever Entertainment. © Paradunai LLC. All international rights reserved. All trademarks property of Paradunai LLC. All personas, concepts and original songs created and performed by Sherese Chrétien.