Music Briefs: New Orleans Jazz

Louis Armstrong, Castle Hill, Massachusetts, USA

Add a touch of timeless nostalgia to your stock music library with the melodies of New Orleans Jazz. Its roots are deep in the heart of New Orleans, and the genre has enchanted listeners for over a century. This article explores New Orleans Jazz music origins, history, iconic artists, and key characteristics, giving you valuable insight into this enduring genre. Dive into the fast pace of this genre playing out from the gramophone and prepare your next masterpiece that resembles the nostalgia of the good old days.


What Is New Orleans Jazz

New Orleans Jazz, often known as “Dixieland” or “Traditional Jazz,” is a genre that emerged in the early twentieth century, particularly in the southern United States. The former name “Dixieland” refers to the original Confederate states, which historians typically connect with the distinct culture and tradition of the American South.

We can trace this genre back to the vibrant musical traditions of the city, where a fusion of African, European, and Caribbean elements gave rise to this recognizable genre. Its early evolution was influenced primarily by brass bands, ragtime, and blues, which resulted in a vivid and distinct sound.

The movement of jazz musicians from New Orleans to other places, particularly Chicago, was a turning point in the history, resulting in the spread and popularization of the genre in the 1910s and 1920s.


New Orleans Jazz characteristics

We can clearly recognize this genre for its lively and upbeat nature, characterized by these essential elements:

  • Instrumentation: Key instruments include trumpet, clarinet, trombone, piano, banjo, and a rhythm section consisting of drums and double bass. This instrumentation produces a lively and upbeat ensemble sound.
  • Fast tempo: New Orleans Jazz is generally played quickly, sometimes with a vibrant two-beat rhythm. The music has an appealing intensity that is ideal for dancing and celebrating.
  • Improvisation: New Orleans Jazz, like its roots, welcomes improvisation, allowing artists to express their creativity and add distinctive touches to performances.
  • Melodic Phrasing: New Orleans Jazz is known for its memorable melodies and expressive phrasing. Its catchy and memorable songs make it suitable for stock music.

Among the most prominent figures are:

  • Buddy Bolden was an African-American cornetist regarded by contemporaries as crucial in forming New Orleans ragtime music, or “jass,” later known as jazz.
  • Louis Armstrong’s performance of “When the Saints Go Marching In” is a renowned New Orleans Jazz classic. He is known for his excellent trumpet talents and seductive voice.
  • King Oliver, a cornetist and New Orleans jazz pioneer, mentored Louis Armstrong. His Creole Jazz Band records are classic, with songs like “Dippermouth Blues” standing out.
  • Jelly Roll Morton is a pianist, songwriter, and bandleader whose “Tiger Rag” is a genre’s standard.
  • Bix Beiderbecke is best known for his cornet skills. Beiderbecke’s “Singin’ the Blues” and “In a Mist” are also New Orleans Jazz classics.



Pond5 Examples of New Orleans Jazz

Listen to the tracks dedicated to the genre and get inspired for your next production.
Please note that we are looking for genre-inspired original music tracks, not actual public-domain music from the past.


Submission ideas

  • Submit tracks in length between 3-6 minutes long.
  • The tempo should be between 120 and 180 BPM.
  • Use authentic instruments like bass, trumpet, harpsichord, tuba, banjo, guitar, clarinet, drums/percussion, or piano.



  • Take advantage of the 50-keyword limit and add both broad and specific keywords. Please do not use a recognizable band or artist name!
  • We also encourage you to submit separate :15 and :30 versions of these tracks for social media use.
  • Don’t forget to add NEWORLEANSJAZZP5BRIEF among your keywords so we can track down and promote your content.
  • Please note you can apply tags to existing tracks in your portfolio.

Top Image: Louis Armstrong, Castle Hill, Massachusetts, Usa” by LIFE_Picture_Collection .

Don’t forget to check out our other Music Briefs articles.