Jazz was born from a fusion of French Creole and African-American cultures in New Orleans, La., sometime around 1895. It combined elements of ragtime, marching band music and the blues. Its earliest practitioners, including Buddy Bolden, Bunk Johnson and Clarence Williams, are little known today, but the improvisational music they invented is still played and celebrated around the world, in endless ways. Indeed, jazz has taken many a twist and turn since its early days in the red light district of New Orleans known as Storyville. But the earliest jazz tunes were lively, happy songs, great for dancing, and a wailing clarinet was a prominent part of the sound. No one knows exactly what those first New Orleans jazz bands sounded like, as the first jazz recordings date only to 1917 - but we can imagine it from later recordings by some of the early performers, and hear it echoing in the timeless music of Louis Armstrong, the most famous New Orleans jazz musician of them all. The Fat Tuesdays Band seeks to honor the infectious spirit of early jazz and help bring it into the 21st century. It’s a process, and we’ll always be learning – while having lots of fun along the way. For more information on the birth of jazz, along with some of the earliest jazz recordings, visit the excellent website redhotjazz.com, from which much of this brief history is drawn. The Fat Tuesdays Band and the Fat Tuesdays Trio are eager to bring classic New Orleans jazz to your nightclub, restaurant or private event in the Roanoke and New River Valleys of Southwest Virginia. We will happily travel for additional compensation.