Home > Jazz History > Browns Band from Dixieland

Browns Band from Dixieland

Joseph K. Gorham in the early 1900’s was a theatrical impresario. Early in 1915 he had went to New Orleans to direct the Grunewald winter amusement features and while walking along Canal St. discovered a band of four musicians being ridden in the back of a wagon playing a style of music that was unknown to his ear, the musicians were rapid-fire yet strangely harmonious for the purpose of advertising a prize fight. The band had 4 pieces, identified by their appearance more than their melody, The leader of the players were Raymond Lopez cornet, Tom Brown trombone, Gus Mueller clarinet, and William Lambert drum’s, known as Brown’s Orchestra. Mr.Gorham observed the grinning faces, the snapping fingers, and the patting of feet of the crowd gathered around the wagon and was soon him self swaying to the barbaric tune. It was then he scented that ever-eagerly sought “something new”. He arraigned for them to go to Chicago and play at the Lamb’s Café there appearing as “Brown’s Band from Dixieland. Soon afterward “Jazz came into it’s own and remained there since. Lopez and his band played at “Lambs” for 33 weeks and under the direction of “Harry Fitzgerald went to New York playing on Vaudeville. It was not long before all over the North and East imitators were springing up. Interestingly, Lopez was the cornetist who first muted his instrument with a derby hat and Tom Brown used the same idea on his trombone. Mr. Gorham introduced Jazz to Chicago and then the world.

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