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Creole Trombone


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About the Author

John McCusker, New Orleans, is a photographer for The Times-Picayune. He was part of the the team that shared the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Journalism for covering Hurricane Katrina.


"Much about early jazz history is unknown. But, as John McCusker ably demonstrates here, the unknown is not necessarily unknowable. Making meticulous use of the written record, in Creole Trombone John McCusker places Ory in the broad context of jazz history and in the more rarified sanctum reserved for the three or four most important musicians in the development of early jazz."--Lolis Eric Elie, story editor for HBO's Treme

"John McCusker's impressive research and deft writing have produced a first-rate biography of this influential jazz pioneer set against the colorful backdrop of New Orleans in the early years of the twentieth century. A must-read!"--Tom Sancton, author of Song for My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and White

"If you love jazz and you love New Orleans, Creole Trombone is a must-read. With meticulous research and elegant writing, John McCusker evokes the magical time when a young man could rise out of sugarcane fields and change the world with his music. Kid Ory's life was a brilliant ramble, and McCusker has told it with perfect pitch."--Jonathan Eig, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season, and Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster

"At last! John McCusker's Creole Trombone provides a compelling account of the early life and career of Ed Ory, one of the most fascinating protagonists in the development of New Orleans jazz. Through meticulous research and an innate sensitivity to Louisiana's distinctive couture de metissage, McCusker has brought hitherto undiscovered aspects of Ory's life to light, while deepening our understanding of his contributions to the idiom."--Bruce Boyd Raeburn, curator of the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University and author of New Orleans Style and the Writing of American Jazz History

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