Norfolk Jubilee Quartet

Norfolk Jubilee Quartet Background Reigning from the Tidewater area in Virginia, the Norfolk Jubilee Quartet made an incredible mark on the Jubilee Quartet genre. Also known as the Norfolk Jazz, this group was created by Len Williams (Bass singer) and Delroy Hollins (Baritone). The group began to perform in 1919 and added Otto Tuston and […]

Shuffle Along

Shuffle Along was the first all-black Broadway musical. The musical debuted in May 1921 and was a musical comedy created by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle. It laid the ground work and opened doors for other black musicals on Broadway Eubie Blake Noble Sissle Shuffle Along originally opened in the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC […]

King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band

King Oliver & His Creole Jazz Band! Who is King Oliver? Native of Edgard, St John Parish in Louisiana, Joseph “King” Oliver was a pioneer of  Jazz music. He was well known for his trumpet and cornet skills, and being bandleader for King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. As a teenager in New Orleans, Oliver was apart […]

Ruth Brown

Miss Rhythm! Background Ruth Brown was a famed Blues singer and songwriter with an incomparable career that played an instrumental role in shaping the Blues genre. She was rightfully crowned the “Queen of R&B” and “Miss Rhythm” due to her role in establishing Atlantic Records as an industry giant. Born Ruth Alston Weston in Portsmouth, […]

Irene M. Giblin

A Historic Woman of Ragtime Who is Irene M. Giblin? Born August 12, 1888, Irene M. Giblin was the oldest of six children.  From a young age, Irene was natural with the piano. As a way to make money for her family, fourteen years old Irene began to work as music demonstrator in the Grand […]

The Shouts Heard By Many: Ring Shout!

Ring Shout! Background Ring Shout is a form of dance and song that was performed by enslaved African people in the southern United States, Caribbean Islands, and other countries. It is performed by a group, who after starting to sing, form a circle in the center of a space and begin to move counterclockwise.   […]

Fiddle: The Unsung Instrument

Fidde: The Unsung Instrument Origin The fiddle (or bowed lute) originated in West Africa from a string instrument referred to as Gonje (pictured above) by the Hausa people in Nigeria, Gondze in Ghana and Nyanyeru in the country known today as Senegal (Senegambia). The instrument has one, two, or three strings and rests on the side of […]