In the 1920s thousands of dance bands were scattered across America. Toiling in obscurity, these territory bands played an endless series of one-nighters no more than a days drive from their headquarters. Sporting names like The Twelve Clouds of Joy, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, The Bostonians (from Kansas), and The Blue Devils these groups were seldom recorded and would travel from gig to gig until the money ran out often leaving musicians stranded hundreds of miles from home. More than just colourful stories about life on the road, Territory Bands played an important part in shaping jazz history, eventually ushering in the Swing Era and an explosion in mainstream popularity. Join the WJO as we explore some of the rarely-played music from that era alongside hits from the wild and raucous Kansas City jazz scene.
The West End Cultural Centre will continue to require that patrons wear facemasks and show proof of vaccination for all events in the venue.
We will continue to evaluate this policy as circumstances evolve.