West End on the lakefront was a popular recreational and entertainment area in the late 1800s and early 1900s containing a hotel, restaurant, and amusement park. It was the site of both large symphonic band concerts and more informal performances by early ragtime and jazz bands. Cornetist Joe “King” Oliver commemorated it in his composition “West End Blues.” Louis Armstrong’s 1928 recording of the song is among the most famous from his earliest years. Armstrong’s introductory solo is one his more technically difficult performances on trumpet, and his smooth scatting shows off his vocal prowess as well.
This area was originally developed as a new resort between the 1830s and the 1870s following the creation of the New Basin Canal, and acquired the name West End in 1880.