Jenkins Orphanage Band

Significance with Jazz
The Jenkins Orphanage was established in 1891 by Rev. Daniel Joseph Jenkins in Charleston, South Carolina. Rev. Jenkins, a former orphan himself, stumbled across four homeless boys huddled together in a freight car with nobody to care for them and decided to organize an orphanage for young African Americans. Located next to the old jail in downtown Charleston, started received neglected children almost as soon as the doors were opened. Needing money to support the orphanage, Jenkins took in donations of musical instruments and hired two Charleston musicians, P.M. “Hastie” Logan and Francis Eugene Mikell, to tutor the children in music. The children learned quickly and in just two short years, the Jenkins Orphanage Band began touring the United States and abroad, even playing in two inaugural parades for Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft. The band also performed on Broadway for the entire original run of DuBose Heyward’s Porgy and Bess. By the 1920s, the orphanage became the musical center for jazz and the various Jenkins bands spread the “Charleston Sound” up and down the east coast. Notable alumni include William “Cat” Anderson, Jabbo Smith, Tom Delaney and Freddie Green.
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