New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Friday, July 12, 2024
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1940 Duke Ellington Records Ko-Ko

Ellington said that Ko-Ko was supposed to be a description of Congo Square
in New Orleans,'where jazz was born.' Congo Square was an open place situated
about where Louis Armstrong Park is now, where, in the nineteenth century,
African-Americans held Sunday dances to drum music that is presumed to have been
close to African tribal music. Jazz was not born in Congo Square, which suggests
that Ellington's understanding of the history of the music was as sketchy asmost
people's of the time. The piece was supposed to have been a part of the musical
'history of the Negro people' that eventually became 'Black, Brown and Beige'.
It was at one point called 'Boola'. It was recorded on March 6, 1940.

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