The first jazz band at the White House

by Ralph Wondraschek

It is generally accepted wisdom that the first jazz band to ever play at the White House was Ray Miller's Orchestra (including Miff Mole and Frank Trumbauer), on October 17, 1924 [see Edward Allan Faine's article in Vintage Jazz Mart].
But is this really correct ?

New York Morning Telegraph, May 26, 1920, p.4:

HICKMAN'S BAND AT THE WHITE HOUSE - Art Hickman's Jazz Orchestra will stop over at Washington on its journey East and give a concert at the White House before Senators and Congressmen who are to be gathered there on the night of June 4. It is planned to have the President hear a few of the numbers. San Francisco, by the way, is to give Hickman a rousing send-off. He has been the best advertiser of San Francisco since the earthquake by regaling it with his music at the St. Francis Hotel night after night. A number of prominent citizens who have greatly admired the music of the Hickman orchestra are giving him a public dinner on Friday night. A golden baton, properly inscribed, will be presented on that occasion.

Can somebody shed more light on this ?

Posted on Jun 4, 2017, 11:10 AM

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