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The Mississippi Delta, where French and British cultures blend with African and Creole, is acknowledged as the birthplace of what has become known as Trad Jazz. An amalgam of blues and gospel hymns with European dance-tunes and song models, this idiosyncratic style of musical delivery appears to emerge in the popular marching church bands, especially in and around New Orleans, towards the end of the 19th century.
Trad Jazz fuses the hopelessness of the blues with the triumphalism of gospel, all wrapped up in an exciting, life-affirming march-rhythm with much interweaving melodic improvisation over the principal theme. As the 20th century dawned, the lyric message gradually became subordinated to the purely musical aspect, as the Dixieland marching bands highlighted instrumental development at the expense of vocal performance.
Trad Jazz puts a spring in the step
Find out more about booking a Trad Jazz band for your wedding.
The carefree sound of a Trad Jazz Band has long been associated with festivities of all kinds, and conjures up a sunshine, carnival atmosphere with the vivid imagery of the New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations. What may have originally started out as solemn spiritual music to accompany a funeral procession finished up as the joyous soundtrack to a tickertape parade.
The iconic sound of Trad and Dixieland Jazz
Sousaphone or tuba pins down the bassline, banjo or piano fills in the rhythmic and harmonic texture while trombone, trumpet and clarinet carry on a frenetic counter-melodic conversation over and around the main theme. The overall effect is a lively, uplifting and irresistible fusion of rhythm and melody – contagiously cheerful and eminently danceable.
Expect to hear immediately-recognisable classics such as ‘When The Saints Go Marching In’, ‘Swanee River’ and ‘Georgia’ as staples in the repertoire, which were readily adopted and adapted into later jazz developments like swing, bebop and mainstream as the 20th century progressed.
Absolutely perfect for an outdoor reception
The instruments of a Trad Jazz Band are generally acoustic and easily portable, allowing the ensemble to perform a picturesque strolling serenade, absolutely perfect for an al fresco drinks reception. This brings the music to your guests in a delightfully informal, interactive way and can really help create a relaxed, celebratory atmosphere.,/p>
Many bands can come colourfully attired in what has become traditional ‘uniform’ for Trad Jazz – striped blazers, bow ties and straw boater hats, which adds an iconic touch of charming authenticity to the overall spectacle.
Want to spice up your wedding reception with some happy, jaunty music to create a relaxed atmosphere for your guests to enjoy? A strolling Trad Jazz Band playing a swaggering mixture of classic tunes from the popular, jazz and blues repertoire will bring that summery, strawberries-and-cream, ‘Henley Regatta’ magical ambience to your celebrations.