Rhode Island Jazz: A Short History

Discover the big noise made by a small state. Explore Rhode Island Jazz: A Short History with Tom Shaker, co-author of A Treasury of Rhode Island Jazz & Swing Musicians.


Learn how the Rhode Island jazz scene evolved from the days of Dixieland to today. Explore why Rhode Island produced so many jazz musicians, and find out which Rhode Island musicians made their mark on jazz history.


(37 min)


Dr. Tom Shaker is a college professor, a radio DJ, a documentary filmmaker, and an expert on Rhode Island jazz.


His radio show The Soul Serenade, featuring classic soul music from the 1960s and 1970s, airs on WICN on Mondays at 7 p.m.


His award-winning film with Norm Grant Do It, Man! The Story of The Celebrity Club tells the story of the legendary Celebrity Club, the integrated 1950s nightclub in Providence’s Randall Square neighborhood.


His book with Dennis Pratt A Treasury of Rhode Island Jazz & Swing Musicians is a biographical collection of jazz and swing musicians who have played in Rhode Island and a sequel to Who's Who in Rhode Island Jazz: c. 1925-1988 by Rhode Island musicians and historians Lloyd Kaplan and Robert Petteruti.

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