[Dixielandjazz] Scotch-Irish and Irish Influences in Jazz

D and R Hardie darnhard at ozemail.com.au
Fri Apr 30 13:00:05 PDT 2004

Dear Listmembers,
                                        It’s good to see mention of the  
Scotch-Irish and Irish influence on jazz by Rod McCallum and Don Ingle.
                              The Irish came to New Orleans very early  
in the 18th century and by mid-century they were competing with the  
Creoles for political power in some Parishes.
                              There is a suggestion that Stalebread  
Lacoume who led the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band in the late 19th Century and  
was considered by many to be the inventor of jazz was, despite his  
French sounding name, of Irish extraction.
                              Long before that, the music of Don  
Ingles’, Rod's ( and my own ) Scotch-Irish Ancestors had begun an  
American  folk music tradition that persists in Country Music and  
Bluegrass. Along the way it encountered slave music and blended with  
it. This blending was to be a significant input into the families of  
Ragtime and Jazz
                             At a later stage the Irish parody song,  
aimed at Southern Irish immigrants competed for popularity with the  
Negro Parody songs on the Minstrel stage.
                            I have dealt with this history in some  
detail in my latest book “The Ancestry of Jazz: A Musical Family  

Dan Hardie

Check out the website:

On Friday, April 30, 2004, at 12:46  AM, Don Ingle wrote:

> Irish? -- Quite a few.
> Larry Sheilds with ODJB, Joe Sullivan with Austin High School Gang,  
> Eddie
> Condon, composers like
> Walter Donaldson (mother Irish -- he Scotch-Irish), and the influences  
> in
> melting pot music crossovers from Scottish/Irish folk music into early  
> jazz
> (Armstrong's "Irish Black Bottom"), and in New Orleans there is a  
> strong
> Irish connect as there was a large Irish early immegration to the area  
> and
> their musical influence is found in much of  New Orleans jazz.
> The Dorseys were of Irish ancestry -- so was arranger-composer Spud  
> Murphy.
> A browse thrugh Rusk's listing of musicians in early jazz and big band  
> will
> reveal many Celtic names. Even this humble
> cornet tooter can trace my paternal lines back to places in Scotland  
> called
> Auchendinny and Skye, and maternally to Northern Ireland. We all be a  
> mogrel
> breed, we Yanks, but many have Celtic roots and so does our jazz music.
> Others can pile on more in this thread, but that's my start.
> Don Ingle
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Rob McCallum" <rakmccallum at hotmail.com>
> To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
> Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2004 7:36 AM
> Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Irish/Celtic Influences in Jazz
>> 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
>> _________________________________________________________________
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