Jazz may be one of the most disputed genres of music of the 20th century. It is often described as a combination of musical traditions influenced by Africa and Europe. It evolved from the work songs, spirituals, and the Blues of the poor into Ragtime and a unique sound for the rich. The early Jazz men called their music Blues. These musicians applied their innovative talent and improvisational skills to create America’s original music.
Jazz gave birth to a new expression of freedom for the people who left the sugarcane and rice plantations along Bayou Lafourche and the Mississippi River. It was the end of one era, and the beginning of a new era. The Jazz generation of the early 20th century was ready to trade their tattered clothes for fancy suits, new hats, and shiny dresses. They packed their bags and moved down the river south to New Orleans, then traveled north to Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago, and New York.
Donaldsonville was one of the small towns left behind. The local newspaper published that Donaldsonville had more bands per capita than any other city in Louisiana in the early years of Jazz.
This exhibit celebrates the music, lives, and legacy of the musicians who carried their memories, melodies, and rhythms to faraway places around the world.
The Creole Jazz Serenaders King Oliver Tribute
Celebrate African American Music Appreciation Month with the River Road African American Museum by listening to The Creole Jazz Serenaders King Oliver Tribute.
The Protest Doll Movement
Madam CJ Walker Exhibit Interview with Amb. Harold Doley, Jr.
406 Charles Street
Donaldsonville, LA 70346
All tours are by appointment only.