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The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970-2000The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970-2000

A Personal Retrospective

Thomas W. Jacobsen

Narrated by David Randall Hunter

Available from Audible

Book published by Louisiana State University Press

In 1966, journalist Charles Suhor wrote that New Orleans jazz was “ready for its new Golden Age.” Thomas W. Jacobsen’s The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970–2000 chronicles the resurgence of jazz music in the Crescent City in the years following Suhor’s prophetic claim. Jacobsen, a New Orleans resident and longtime jazz aficionado, offers a wide-ranging history of the New Orleans jazz renaissance in the last three decades of the twentieth century, weaving local musical developments into the larger context of the national jazz scene.

Jacobsen vividly evokes the changing face of the New Orleans jazz world at the close of the twentieth century. Drawing from an array of personal experiences and his own exhaustive research, he discusses leading musicians and bands, both traditionalists and modernists, as well as major performance venues and festivals. The city’s musical infrastructure does not go overlooked, as Jacobsen delves into New Orleans’s music business, its jazz media, and the evolution of jazz edu-cation at public schools and universities. With a trove of more than seventy photographs of key players and performances, The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970–2000 offers a vibrant and fascinating portrait of the musical genre that defines New Orleans.

Thomas W. Jacobsen is the author of Traditional New Orleans Jazz: Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music. He has published extensively on New Orleans jazz in a number of jazz periodicals, including The Mississippi Rag and The Clarinet.


“Comprehensive.... Where [Jacobsen] excels is the recalling of some histories that have been glossed over such as the early, controversial history of Jazz Fest, the lack of development of Rampart Street, or the saga of Clarence ‘Buckwater’ Washington.... A great reference book.”


“Lovers of New Orleans music tend to cleave into two camps: those who love the golden era of Satchmo, Jelly Roll and Bechet (and their revivalists), and those who love the post–World War II world of R&B, funk, and modern jazz. Thomas Jacobsen is one of the enlightened fans who loves it all, and he covers the panstylistic contemporary New Orleans scene splendidly in this book.”

—Tom McDermott, New Orleans pianist and composer

“Thomas Jacobsen is not a moldy fig. He knows and loves all of jazz and writes about it with wit and enthusiasm. But he has also written an exhaustive history of the players and venues in his adopted home, New Orleans. This is a thoroughly researched, generously illustrated reference book and, at the same time, it is a delight to read.”

—Krin Gabbard, author of Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture

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University Press Audiobooks