Personalities | Papa Celestin | Early Years | Jazz & Blues

(Trumpet, vocals, 1884–1954)

Oscar ‘Papa’ Celestin was a much-loved New Orleans fixture, who started out with the Algiers Brass Band, under Henry Allen Sr. at the turn of the century. In 1910 he founded the Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra with trombonist William ‘Baba’ Ridgley. Celestin recorded with OKeh and Columbia in the mid-1920s, and his recordings of ‘Original Tuxedo Rag’ and ‘Black Rag’ stand up well as sizzling hot jazz or dance music in comparison with the recordings that King Oliver made at the time with his Creole Jazz Band.

Unlike many of his peers, Celestin stayed in New Orleans. After the glory days of the Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra, he led bands on Bourbon Street, made records and played regularly for radio broadcasts on a national ABC network show, ‘Dixieland Jambake’. He was a sweet-toned trumpeter and a frog-voiced singer, vigorously selling sure-fire tunes like ‘Li’l Liza Jane’, ‘Mama Don’t Allow’ and ‘Bill Bailey’. His band featured elders including Alphonse Picou (clarinet), Bill Mathews (trombone), Ricard Alexis (bass) and Christopher ‘Black Happy’ Goldston (drums).

Styles & Forms | Early Years | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | Will Marion Cook | Early Years | Jazz & Blues

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.