[Dixielandjazz] "Dixieland" as a pejorative term

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed Jan 24 08:37:26 PST 2007

Kash wrote about Hirt's Bio:

>---start snip
>Although Hirt came out of New Orleans leading a Dixieland band, he never let
>himself get stereotyped in that narrow genre.
>---end snip

>Steve added:
>In that vein, Anne Davison once said to me: "Many people think of Bill as a
>'Dixielander'. They are ignorant, He is so much more than that."
>One never knows, do one?

>I add:
>Both phrases knock our kind of jazz, one says it is a "narrow genre", and
>the other uses Dixielander as a bad word, practically.

>Is it narrow?  If you make it.
>Is it a bad word?  If you insist on dumping all the garbage that is
>sometimes applied to the word (normally by Americans).

Right on, Jim. There are many Americans who use the word "Dixieland" and or
"Dixielander" as a pejorative term to disrespect the genre. Perhaps that's
why many who play Dixieland describe it as something else. Some get very
defensive about the word.

At many of Barbone Street's summertime park concert prospecting efforts, we
are faced with presenters who first say to us "Dixieland? That's out of
fashion now" and I must spend a bit of extra time pointing out the large
audiences that we draw to hear us play Dixieland. Supplying references etc.,
to prove to them that our performance will be one of the best attended that
they produce all summer. (Many townships, boroughs, towns, produce summer
concerts in our corner of the USA)

In fact, what I do now in our proposals is supply the "proof" of our music's
popularity in advance so as to eliminate the objection before it is made. It
is very satisfying to have those once doubting presenters come up to us
after a successful concert, compliment us and say they had no idea of how
popular Dixieland was with audiences. And then we get invited back.

Steve Barbone


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