Iconic trumpet players who defined jazz history (via OUPblog)

Since emerging at the beginning of the 20th century, jazz music has been a staple in American culture. Historians are not clear on when exactly jazz was born or who first started playing it, but it can be agreed upon that New Orleans, Louisiana is the First City of Jazz. Amidst the inventive be-bop beats filling up NOLA bars are the iconic trumpet players who still continue to inspire musicians and new music every day.

Buddy Bolden – Bolden had a magnetic personality and a musical gift that combined ragtime and the blues. His career defined jazz and he was crowned the first jazz trumpeter. He was very popular in turn-of-the-century New Orleans and kept local crowds returning to his lively shows. Even though Bolden never recorded any of his music, he was an inspiration to all the jazz legends that came after him.

King (Joe) Oliver – Oliver was praised for being an excellent band leader, imposing discipline on his musicians while skillfully playing along with them. His music was expressive, theatrical, and known for its wa-wa effects. He later enlisted Louis Armstrong to play in his band and the group was a national sensation on the jazz scene. His career as a top band leader in New Orleans and Chicago dissipated in the 1930s, but his influence on Armstrong was the beginning of jazz history.

Louis ArmstrongAffectionately known as “Satchmoand “Pops,” Armstrong is one of the most influential people in jazz and the Harlem Renaissance. His recognizable name and iconic sound reached audiences beyond jazz and established him as a monumental force in music. In his lifetime, Armstrong toured internationally, recorded almost 1500 tracks, and was the first jazz musician to appear on the cover of Time (1949).

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