Freddie Keppard, who was born in New Orleans in 1890, was one of the first great jazz innovators and cornet players, succeeding Buddy Bolden as "king" of the cornet players in New Orleans. By the age of 16 he was playing professionally on the streets of New Orleans in marching bands and at funerals, and in the local clubs. He was soon leading his own band, ‘The Olympia Orchestra’, and in his early 20’s he took some of its members to Los Angeles. There he formed the ‘Original Creole Orchestra’ and for six years this band toured the country in vaudeville shows, giving northern audiences their first taste of authentic New Orleans Jazz. At this time he could have made what was probably the first jazz recording but he turned down the opportunity fearing imitators. When he was 30 years old he moved to Chicago and worked with several bands including that of Erskine Tate, Doc Cook's Dreamland Orchestra, and with Charles Elgar’s Creole Orchestra. Keppard did most of his recording in a three year period between 1924 and 1927 usually with his own band, ‘The Jazz Cardinals’. Tragically, in the late 1920’s, Keppard contracted tuberculosis. By then he was also an alcoholic and his performances became more and more infrequent and he became unreliable and unpredictable. His health declined rapidly and in 1933 he died in Chicago at the age of 43.