Tour Locations | Walking the Tremé
LOCATION 32 | Walking the Tremé
Economy Hall site
Let’s stop here for a minute. The street in front of you is Ursulines Avenue.
Look over at the double-story house on the opposite corner, the one with the French Quarter-style balcony. Well just to the right of that building was the original site of Economy Hall, a dance hall where trombonist Kid Ory’s Creole band cultivated jazz improvisation as far back as 1910. Economy Hall was not only a legendary laboratory for jazz improvisation, as was typical of the many social aid and pleasure clubs at that time. It also provided a variety of social services, including brass band funerals and dances, to the New Orleans black community.
Turn left now, cross the street and continue down Ursulines Avenue.
Yes, this was the mecca for jazz in the early 1900s. Economy Hall is described as the original incubator for black jazz musicians. True, that once-rollicking dance hall where jazz icon Joe Oliver and his young protegé Louis Armstrong cut their chops may be gone from the street, but listen closely as you pass the street corner. You won't be the first visitor to hear two cornets playing a few bars of Canal Street Blues.
Keep heading away from the Economy Hall site.