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Joined at the Hip: A History of Jazz in the Twin Cities

Length: 300 pages3 hours


Jazz first floated into the Twin Cities on the Mississippi River excursion boats, which brought the likes of Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong to listeners on the levee—and it never left. When Paul Whiteman, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and other jazz greats toured the clubs and concert halls of the Cities, young musicians listened in the alleys outside clubs, bought records, and learned more of this exciting new music. The local scene began to nurture players like Lester Young and Oscar Pettiford, who went on to bigger things, as well as those who remained close to home to ply their craft, like Rook Ganz, Percy Hughes, Doc Evans, and Dave Karr.

Using an invaluable set of interviews taped with jazz personalities that were broadcast by Dave Sletten and Kent Hazen in the 1990s, author Jay Goetting recounts the lore and explores the social aspects of the story: racism, the gangster era, unionization and strip joints, and the ever-evolving music itself. Separate chapters feature clubs players, singers, big bands, broadcasters (including the amazing Leigh Kammen), and the young lions forming the jazz community of tomorrow.

This is the story behind the music, the rich chronicle of a vibrant jazz scene.

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