Copyright © 2018 by Jeremy Bell

8th Street Bowery Blues

Jeremy Bell
8th Street
Bowery Blues

Welcome to the Bowery, located in the southern portion of the New York City borough of Manhattan.  Although, 8th Street is located several blocks north of the Bowery's northern border, I chose the street because of a brewery I used to frequent with friends while attending ASU (and because I kind of liked it the best).  The history of the Bowery tells a story of ups and downs, as the neighborhood began as a modest cattle farm settled by the Dutch.  The pathway that stretched the entire length of Manhattan island was named Bouwerij, which was an old Dutch word for "farm."  In the 17th century, the area contained many large farms andconnected farmlands on the to estates in heart of the city, which is current day's Wall Street.

In the early 1800s the Bowery developed from farmland into a respectable and elegant neighborhood that began to rival the notoriety of Fifth Avenue.  By the time of the civil war, though, the mansions and shops that populated the area eventually gave way to low-brow concert halls, pawn shops, and flophouses.  The quality of the neighborhood sank to the level of slums, filled with employment agencies, cheap clothing stores, lodging houses, and saloons.  From the 1940s to 1970s, the Bowery was filled with "Bowery Bums" (homeless people).  Since the 1970s, though, the neighborhood has seen a revival as gentrification breathed new life into the borough.

8th Street Bowery Blues is a laid-back, jazz-influenced tune for concert band, taking the listener back to an old smokey jazz club in New York City.  Featuring techniques like flutter tongue, moderate swing, and grace notes, this piece is sure to challenge and engage all of its players.  From the multiple soli sections to the licks that have the whole band playing the same line, 8th Street Bowery Blues is an exciting work that your band will love to play.

8th Street Bowery Blues is published by Grand Mesa Music for their 2018 catalog and is also available with J.W. Pepper.

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