Vancouver Was Awesome: Original Creole Orchestra


A Vancouver time travelogue brought to you by Past Tense.


Ninety-seven years ago this week, Vancouver got its first taste of jazz music. The Original Creole Orchestra was the first New Orleans jazz band to tour outside the American south, which included a week-long gig at the local Pantages Theatre. Judging by this review in the Sun, they only made a mildly positive impression (“especially fine”), possibly because they were promoted as a band that played traditional plantation music to an audience that wouldn’t have known the difference. No doubt it would have been difficult to stand out on a bill that included the tango performed on roller skates, “eccentric, grotesque singing and dancing,” the “Irish Chatterbox,” and an entertaining musical with dainty chorus girls in pretty costumes.
For more on Vancouver’s early jazz history, see “Vancouver Enters the Jazz Age.”
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