Back to Struttin’: French Quarter Walking Tour

Junius Hart Piano House and Alamo Dance Hall

1001 Canal St.
New Orleans LA 70112
Location Status: Same structure, different use
Curated by
e/Prime Media & Randy Fertel

The Junius Hart Piano House published local vernacular music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hart was known for its Mexican Series, which featured sheet music with Mexican themes published from 1884 to the early 1900s. The popularity of this style of music was one way that Latin American and Caribbean rhythms, referred to by Jelly Roll Morton as the “Spanish Tinge,” entered early New Orleans jazz. Hart promoted the series by touring the Eighth Cavalry Mexican Band around the United States.

Originally the music company occupied the first floor of this building, and the Hart family lived on the upper floor. When they moved out, the Alamo Dance Hall moved into the second floor. The dance hall entrance was around the corner on Burgundy Street, but the room overlooked Canal Street. The Alamo was a taxi-dance hall, where dancers could be hired by the dance. It catered to a working class white clientele, but hired both white and black jazz bands. Banjoist/guitarist and eventual elder statesman of New Orleans jazz Danny Barker played here in the 1920s.

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