Dixieland music is a style of jazz that was born in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century, and spread to Chicago and New York by New Orleans bands in the 1910s. It is often considered the first true type of Jazz, and was the first music referred to by the term jazz (before 1917 often spelled "jass"). The style combined earlier ragtime and blues with collective improvisation. This style of music is frequently heard in political rallies in the United States.
Common Dixieland combos include a drum kit, upright bass, piano. trombone, trumpet, and clarinet. The definitive Dixieland sound is created by the simultaneous improvisation of trumpet, trombone, and clarinet. The style is named after the first band to make popular recordings of it, the Original Dixieland Jass Band. The music has been played continuously since the early part of the 20th century. Many "Dixieland" groups consciously imitate the recordings and bands of decades earlier. Other musicians continue to create innovative performances and original new tunes. Most fans of post bebop jazz consider "Dixieland" to no longer be a vital part of jazz, while some adherents consider music in the traditional style, when well and creatively played, is every bit as "modern" as any other jazz style.
While the term "Dixieland" is in wide use, the term's appropriateness is a hotly debated topic in some circles. For some it is the preferred label (especially bands on the USA's West coast and those influenced by the 1950s revival bands), while others (especially New Orleans musicians, and those influenced by the African-American bands of the 1920s) would rather use terms like "Classic Jazz" or "Traditional Jazz". Some of the latter consider "Dixieland" a derogatory term implying superficial hokum played without passion or deep understanding of the music. It also was widely used in the 1930s and 1940s as a synonym for white jazz, with the explicit connotation that Dixieland was an improved white form of inferior black music. Some of the more rabid traditionalists even insist that the style should simply be called "jazz", or that it is the only "real" jazz, suggesting that later styles misappropriated the term first used for this style; this claim was also made by the supporters of white Dixieland, who believed that swing and bebop were inferior black corruptions of jazz.
Dixieland has a happy sound that is still the first introduction to jazz for many people.
Famous Dixieland tunes include: "Muskrat Ramble", "Strutting With Some Bar-be-que", "Tiger Rag", "Singing The Blues" "Dippermouth Blues" "Millenburg Joys", "Basin Street Blues," "Tin Roof Blues," "A Closer Walk With Thee," and many others.
Some of the artists historically identified with Dixieland are mentioned in List of jazz musicians.