It is one of the ironies of jazz (originally ‘jass’) history that—given the origins of the music—the first commercial recordings came from an all-white group. They were an instant sensation. In 1917, the Original Dixieland Jass Band (modestly billing themselves ‘The Creators of Jazz’) recorded Livery Stable Blues (complete with neighing effects!) and Dixie Jass One Step. Simultaneously, the USA entered WW1 and the African-American regimental band, the ‘Harlem Hellfighters’, was equally influential in introducing jazz to troops and civilians throughout Europe. Tonight’s programme celebrates this pioneering music.