In the early twentieth century, St. Louis was a hotbed for ragtime and blues, both roots of jazz music. In 1914, Jelly Roll Morton brought his music to the area. In 1919, Louis Armstrong came to town to play on the "floating conservatories" that plied the Mississippi. Miles Davis, the most famous of the city's jazz natives, changed the course of the genre four different times throughout a world-renowned career. The Black Artists Group of the 1970s was one of the first to bring world music practices into jazz. Author Dennis C. Owsley chronicles the ways both local and national St. Louis musicians have contributed to the city and to the world of music.
About the Author
Dennis Owsley was born near Los Angeles, California, and earned a BA in chemistry and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California-Riverside. He and his late wife, Rosa, came to St. Louis in 1969. He has been a jazz album collector, aficionado and historian since 1958 and has seen most of the major artists in jazz in live performance. April 2018 marked his thirty-fifth anniversary presenting jazz on St. Louis Public Radio. He received the Millard S. Cohen Lifetime Achievement Award from St. Louis Public Radio in 2010 and was named a Jazz Hero of St. Louis by the Jazz Journalists Association. Jazz Unlimited won the Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis Award in the "Best Jazz Show" category six times. He produced The Jazz History of St. Louis on St. Louis Public Radio, the second-longest music documentary in the history of radio, in 2014. In 2006, he published an award-winning book, City of Gabriels: The Jazz History of St. Louis, 1895-1973. In 2006, he was co-curator of the exhibit "The Jazz History of St. Louis."
Published by History Press, 2019. Paperback, 176 pages.