Dominic James "Nick" LaRocca of New Orleans, Creator of Jazz
with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band
by Victor P. Musso
Under the leadership of Nick LaRocca, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band has earned its place in history having made the very first "jass" recording in 1917, Livery Stable Blues. It sold an amazing unheard of one million copies of the new recording and securing the word “jazz” as a musical genre (class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, or technique). Nick LaRocca was the composer of many jazz classics including one of the most recorded jazz classics of all-time "Tiger Rag". The success of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recordings was immense and musicians worldwide changed their instrumentation to emulate the sound and style the Original Dixieland Jazz Band made famous.
Nick LaRocca and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band became famous in the United States and in the civilized countries of the world in 1917 and for years after. Many years later the national new "political" media in the United States totally ignored what Nick LaRocca accomplished in favor only of others who learned to play jazz. His contribution to musical history was overlooked and almost forgotten. The question will always be why was this energetic intelligent talented Italian American later insulted in this manner? Sadly there are no airports or performing theaters or schools named after Dominic James "Nick" LaRocca in New Orleans, the city that jazz brought so much fame and recognition to.
A few of the many Original Nick LaRocca compositions performed by his Son, Jimmy LaRocca and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band includes those shown below:
Livery Stable Blues
St. Louis Blues
When It's Sleepy Time Down South