[Dixielandjazz] Irish/Celtic Influences in Jazz

Rob McCallum rakmccallum at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 29 12:36:45 PDT 2004

Hi all,

We've talked on the list before, several times, about different ethnic 
groups' contributions to jazz (African-American, Italian, Jewish, Latin, 
French etc.).  I don't recall any discussion on Irish/Celtic contributions.

My thought was that in the early days of jazz, the large influx of Irish 
immigrants to the U.S. was segregated upon arrival and often competed with 
other immigrant groups and American minorities for low-paying, hard-labor 
jobs.  This ethnic rivalry was encouraged by business interests to both keep 
wages down and frustrate unionizing.  This cultural separation would not 
have been conducive to taking up on jazz.  The Irish also brought their own 
music with them.  However, this could also be said of Italian and Jewish 
immigrants, both of whom made major contributions to jazz.  Irish/Celtic 
traditions did have a huge impact on American Country and Bluegrass music.  
Anyway, my question is, can anyone think of any early Irish contributors to 
jazz?  Perhaps we could discuss Irish contributors to jazz later in the 
chronology as well (I would assume Turk Murphy was Irish!).

All the best,
Rob McCallum

Lose those love handles! MSN Fitness shows you two moves to slim your waist. 

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