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Smithsonian Institution
Americans Old and NewAmericans Old and NewMidwestern CrossroadsSouthern FusionLouisiana, Where Music is King
Manny Lopez

Davenport, a regular stopping place of the riverboats that brought jazz up the Mississippi and birthplace of the legendary jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, remains a mecca for enthusiasts of the music that has come to be known as Dixieland. Manny Lopez, the son of Mexican immigrants, grew up playing trumpet in local mariachi bands, but was inspired by Herb Alpert to stretch outside the traditional repertoire. Over the years, he has become a leading figure on the Quad City jazz scene, leading his five-piece band through regular sets in a local restaurant.
       For the last decade, Manny has often been joined by his son Manuel III, better known as Dude, who plays drums and sings with the laconic ease of a latter-day Sinatra. River of Song filmed the Lopez band as part of its coverage of the annual Bix Weekend, which includes a huge road race and a jazz festival. The quintet played an outdoor set along the route of the race, and Manny even started the runners off by playing the call to post, twisting even the ordinarily prosaic bugle call into a swinging jazz phrase.


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