Panama (jazz standard)

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Panama (sometimes incorrectly called Panama Rag) is a jazz standard. It is by William H. Tyers, originally entitled "Panama, a Characteristic Novelty", published in 1912.

As expected of a jazz standard, it has been played and recorded by a number of jazz legends including the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Luis Russell, Kid Ory, the Eureka Brass Band, Humphrey Lyttelton and many others.

The famous trumpet variation commonly played by New Orleans, Louisiana 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 (composer) in 1904 called Panama Rag. 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. ^ Al Hirt, Our Man in New Orleans Retrieved April 10, 2013.