Panama (jazz standard)

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Published1911 by Leo Feist, Inc.
Composer(s)William Henry Tyers
Performed by the Dixie Players of the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band

"Panama" (sometimes incorrectly called "Panama Rag"[1]) is a jazz standard. It is by William Henry Tyers, originally entitled "Panama, a Characteristic Novelty",[2] published in 1912.[3]

Jazz legends who have played and recorded the song include the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Luis Russell, Kid Ory, the Eureka Brass Band, and Humphrey Lyttelton. The famous trumpet variation commonly played by New Orleans bands and those influenced by the New Orleans style was reportedly devised by Manuel Manetta, who first taught it to his star trumpet pupils Emmett Hardy and Red Allen.

The original tango or maxixe rhythm is usually discarded in favor of 4/4 time, but can still be detected in some versions, such as the early recording by Johnny DeDroit's Band.

Some later generations have sometimes confused it with a totally different piece of a similar name, a ragtime number composed by Charles Seymour in 1904 called "Panama Rag".[4] This lesser known number has been recorded by the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra and was reportedly played by Buddy Bolden when the tune was new, but is rather obscure and far from a standard.



  1. ^ Brian Rust (2002). Jazz and Ragtime Records (1897-1942): L-Z, index. Mainspring Press. pp. 1306–. ISBN 978-0-9671819-2-9.
  2. ^ Chuck Mancuso; David Lampe (1996). Popular Music and the Underground: Foundations of Jazz, Blues, Country, and Rock, 1900-1950. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-8403-9088-2.
  3. ^ Mario Jorge Jacques. GLOSSARIO DO JAZZ. biblioteca24horas. pp. 361–. ISBN 978-85-7893-002-8.
  4. ^ Ken Vail (1993). Jazz milestones: a pictorial chronicle of jazz 1900-1990. Castle Communications. ISBN 9781860740503.
  5. ^ Scott Yanow (2005). Jazz: A Regional Exploration. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 18–. ISBN 978-0-313-32871-8.
  6. ^ Rex Harris; Brian A. L. Rust (1953). Recorded jazz: a critical guide. Penguin Books.
  7. ^ "Panama by Tyers; Basin St. Six". Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  8. ^ Al Hirt, Our Man in New Orleans Retrieved April 10, 2013.

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