WBGO Blog
  • Myths About Jazz: Part Three

    June 9, 2011. Posted by Alex Rodriguez.


    One of the few remaining buildings in the area once called Storyville

    This is the fifth post in a biweekly blog feature, You Don't Know Jazz! With Dr. Lewis Porter.

    Series Introduction

    Episode 1: A Blues Recording From the Congo -- In 1906!

    Episode 2: The Origins of the Word "Jazz"

    Episode 3: Myths About Jazz, Part One

    Episode 4: Myths About Jazz, Part Two

    (PLEASE NOTE: If the reader uses any of the material from this series, no matter how brief, this article and its web address must be cited as the source. Thank you for respecting the intellectual property of Dr. Porter.)

    Debunking the Myths: Can you believe what you read about jazz?

    This week I continue our series discussing common statements about jazz and its history, focusing on myths about the so-called birthplace of jazz, New Orleans. These are so common on the web, in books, and in interviews that I’m sure you’ve heard them before. (For some of them I have included links to show how they are being used even at reputable sites.) Actually, as you’ll hear on the podcasts, not all are really “myths.” Some are totally wrong, but others are only partly wrong. In some cases they don't make logical sense; and when they do make sense, some are so misleading and simplistic that they might as well be totally wrong. The myths are in bold, with commentary, examples and a brief audio explanation below each one: Read more

  • You Don't Know Jazz! with Dr. Lewis Porter

    June 9, 2011. Posted by Alex Rodriguez.

    Welcome to WBGO's new blog feature, a biweekly series with jazz pianist, composer, author and scholar Dr. Lewis Porter. Currently Professor of Music at Rutgers University-Newark, just down the street from the WBGO studios, Dr. Porter founded the University's Jazz History and Research MA program in 1997.

    (PLEASE NOTE: If the reader uses any of the material from this series, no matter how brief, this article and its web address must be cited as the source. Thank you for respecting the intellectual property of Dr. Porter.)

    Before sharing the first post, Dr. Porter offers some introductory thoughts: Read more

  • Myths About Jazz: Part Two

    May 19, 2011. Posted by Alex Rodriguez.

    The first jazz instruments? Not so fast.

    This is the fourth post in a biweekly blog feature, You Don't Know Jazz! With Dr. Lewis Porter.

    Series Introduction

    Episode 1: A Blues Recording From the Congo -- In 1906!

    Episode 2: The Origins of the Word "Jazz"

    Episode 3: Myths About Jazz, Part One

    (PLEASE NOTE: If the reader uses any of the material from this series, no matter how brief, this article and its web address must be cited as the source. Thank you for respecting the intellectual property of Dr. Porter.)

    Debunking the Myths: Can you believe what you read about jazz?

    This week I continue our series discussing common statements about jazz and its history. These are so common on the web, in books, and in interviews that I’m sure you’ve heard them before. (For some of them I have included links to show how they are being used even in reputable sites.) Actually, as you’ll hear on the podcasts, not all are really “myths.” Some are totally wrong, but others are only partly wrong. In some cases they don't make logical sense; and when they do make sense, some are so misleading and simplistic that they might as well be totally wrong. Read more