Buddy Bolden and the Birth of Jazz

Back row standing, left to right: Jimmy Johnson, Buddy Bolden, Willie Cornish, William Warner. Front row, seated, left to right: Jefferson Mumford, Frank lewis Public domain

Bolden is often referred to as the first jazz performer, and his playing is legendary. But his life story, cluttered by lack of documentation and misinformation, played out tragically after his ascension to the apex of the New Orleans music scene.

Holly's Research:

  • Kubik, Gerhard. “The Mystery of the Buddy Bolden Photograph.” The Jazz Archivist. Vol. XXII. 2009. https://jazz.tulane.edu/sites/default/files/jazz/docs/jazz_archivist/Jazz_Archivist_vol22_2009.pdf
  • Marquis, Donald M. “In Search of Buddy Bolden: First Man of Jazz.” Louisiana State University Press. 2005.
  • Ramsey, Freric, and Charles Edward Smith. “Jazzmen.” Harcourt, Brace. 1959.
  • Welch, Catherine. “Two Films Unveil a Lost Jazz Legend.” NPR. Dec. 15, 2007. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17260407
  • Gibbs, Nanette. “Storyville: a resource guide to sources about commercialized vice in historic New Orleans.” Library of Congress online. Feb. 2018. https://www.loc.gov/rr/business/storyville/storyville_main.html
  • Burns, Ken, and Geoffrey C. Ward. Ken Burns' Jazz: The Story of America's Music. New York: Sony Music Entertainment, 2000.
  • Brandt, Allan M. “No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States Since 1880.” Oxford University Press. 1987.
  • Laney, Ruth. “In Search of Buddy Bolden.” Country Roads. Feb. 1, 2007. https://countryroadsmagazine.com/art-and-culture/history/in-search-of-buddy-bolden/