The legendary Buddy Bolden (1877-1931), a cornet player from New Orleans, was the first jazz voice: wild, archaic, dirty. His music forged a link between European brass bands and the African drum rituals of Congo Square. He was the first bandleader to play improvised music. In 1896 he assembled the first modern jazz band, which played in New Orleans parades and dances. The black community worshipped its unpredictable, crazy king, until his musical, emotional, and physical excesses drove him to madness. After he had a breakdown during a parade, in 1907, he spent the remaining 24 years of his life in a psychiatric institution.

Jazz tells of things that become different as they become, of things that have already become different. D.S. Ware