[Dixielandjazz] Re: Dixielandjazz Digest, Vol 16, Issue 22

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 13 18:00:41 PDT 2004

> Harry Epp <heppkat at juno.com> wrote
> Hi All:
> I must be missing something!!
> I have heard about Louis Gottchalk and know he studied in Europe but his
> playing does absolutely nothing for me! I feel it is amateurish.
> I would like to hear other pianists opinions.


You are probably listening to his great, great, great, great grandson. ;-) THE Louis
Gottschalk, like Buddy Bolden, never recorded. Some claim he was the precursor of jazz /
ragtime piano.

See http://www.LouisMoreauGottschalk.com for a full bio, etc. Below is an excerpt.

This website is dedicated to the American composer and pianist-virtuoso Louis Moreau
Gottschalk (1829-1869). In recent years, there has been a steady growth of interest in
Gottschalk´s music, and it is hoped that this website will help promote his music as well
as provide information about his rather turbulent career.

Traditionally, Gottschalk is remembered as a virtuoso, as well as a prolific composer of
popular (and, so it is said, quite often rather sentimental) music. While there may be
some truth in this statement, it is our belief that there is more to Gottschalk and his
music than just that. As one of his biographers has put it, Gottschalk was ìboth an
arch-romantic and a rationalist, a sentimentalist and a pragmatist, at once America´s
first regionalist composer, its first multiculturalist, and its first true nationalist.î

Gottschalk was also the first and, one might well argue, possibly the last pan-American
composer and artist. Not only did he travel frequently outside the United States, as did,
by necessity, most virtuoso pianists at the time; he also lived in South America and the
Caribbean for extended periods of time, incorporating, without prejudice but with
critical judgment, many local influences and musical traditions. He also was politically
outspoken on issues such as slavery and the Civil War, and while a true American patriot,
he did not spare his countrymen acrimonious criticism whenever he deemed it appropriate.

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