The Last Chance Dixieland Jazz Band (No. 501)
First Aired Thursday, January 21, 2010
Meet the musicians from Helena, Missoula, and Kalispell who make up The Last Chance Dixieland Jazz Band. In the early 1900s, on the heels of ragtime, another American music emerged: Dixieland. In this genre, some of the music is written out and some of it is improvised. The Last Chance Dixieland Jazz Band offers a fine example of traditional jazz in all of its toe tappin' glory.
MontanaPBS (Scott Sterling/Aaron Pruitt)
The Last Chance Dixieland Jazz Band
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Notes from 11th & Grant's Artistic Director and Host, Eric Funk:
Dixieland first made its appearance on the American Popular Music scene during the first two decades of the 20th c. 1900-1920. It was a spin-off of Ragtime, a style of piano playing and composition emerging from the likes of Scott Joplin and later being transcribed for small instrumental groups. Ragtime music is “through-composed”, written out entirely with a form resembling the popular Sousa marches. The beginnings of American jazz had some of their roots here, the Dixieland players wanting the opportunity to improvise. Dixieland music is partially written out and partially improvised.
Typically, Dixieland bands are 5-7 players and they perform from a standard repertoire of classics in their style. The band plays the tune, one-two or all of the players improvise over the chord progression and sometimes a song will end with all of the players improvising at the same time, together. This is possible because the instruments in a Dixieland band are intentionally varied timbrelly: clarinet, cornet, trombone, tuba, banjo, and drums sound different enough from each other that, when they all play simultaneously, the average person can clearly discern each voice.
The Last Chance Dixieland Band hails, largely, from Helena, Montana and has been performing at “Traditional Jazz Festivals” throughout the region for many, many years. A favorite among early jazz fans, this 6-piece band brings to “11th & Grant” a flash from the past while reveal what is going on with Dixieland bands today. I’m willing to bet that you won’t be able to stay in your seat.
Scott Sterling & Michael Ballard
Paul "Gomez" Routhier
Gil Stober - Peak Recording & Sound
- 11th & Grant is a production of KUSM-TV/MontanaPBS, MSU-Bozeman -