"Jelly's Last Jam"

Black History Month Honoree 29
Posted on 02/28/2023
Image of Jelly's Last Jam"Jelly's Last Jam" is a Broadway musical with a book by George C. Wolfe, lyrics by Sudan Birkenhead, and music by Jelly Roll Morton and Luther Henderson.

The musical is based on the life and career of Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe, known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton. He is generally regarded as one of the primary driving forces behind the introduction of jazz to the American public in the early 20th century and serves as a social commentary on the African-American experience during the era. LaMothe was born into a Louisiana Creole family that was established and free before the Civil War.

An American ragtime and jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer. Morton was jazz’s first arranger, proving that a genre rooted in improvisation could retain its essential characteristics when notated. His composition "Jelly Roll Blues" published in 1915, was one of the first published jazz compositions. Morton also wrote "King Porter Stomp," "Wolverine Blues," “Black Bottom Stomp" and “I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say," the last a tribute to New Orleans musicians from the turn of the 20th century.

Image of Jelly's Last Jam
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