Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

New Orleans IDs Its Jazz Houses

New Orleans is a city rich with jazz history. It’s where the music began, took hold and spread from. Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong: all New Orleans sons. History as important as this should be preserved in any way possible, and the New Orleans Jazz Commission, along with the Preservation Resource Center are doing what they can to keep the city’s jazz landmarks noticed and remembered.

At a small ceremony held last week, a house once lived in by violinist Armand J. Piron was adorned with a plaque officially designating it as a New Orleans “jazz house.” The plaque is the first of 100 that will be placed on other jazz landmarks throughout the city.

Piron (pictured left) did play violin, but is more often remembered for the music publishing company he founded with Clarence Williams in 1915. The Piron-Williams Publishing Company’s catalog of songs contained many of the standard jazz tunes of the era, including “I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate” (an Armstrong hit), and “Royal Garden Blues.”

Research has been completed on five other houses in New Orleans worthy of “jazz house” designation. These houses, once the homes of Kid Ory, George Lewis, Nick LaRocca, John Robichaux and Morton, will have plaques hanging from their exterior walls as soon as arrangements can be made with the houses’ owners.

Originally Published