Art Hickman Photo

Art Hickman

Born: Jun 13, 1886

Death: Jan 16, 1930

Birthplace: Oakland

Nationality: United States

Art Hickman

Date of Birth : Jun 13, 1886
Date of Death : Jan 16, 1930
Birth Place : Oakland

Arthur G. Hickman was a drummer, pianist, and band leader whose orchestra is sometimes seen as an ancestor to Big band music. It fits into what are termed "sweet bands", something like that of Paul Whiteman. His orchestra is also credited, perhaps dubiously, with being among the first jazz bands. Jelly Roll Morton disputed this notion, as did Hickman himself. At first he even disputed that "jazz" was music at all, alternatively calling it a kind of bubbling water or just noise. Although born in Oakland, he lived in San Francisco, California for most of his life. His father had various jobs, but his mother had been in vaudeville. He had little to no musical training, but by 1913 he played piano and or drums for a San Francisco hotel. By 1914 he was leading a band which would sometimes be deemed a "jazz band", but he rejected the term as late as 1928. He strongly associated jazz with African Americans, sometimes disparagingly and other times in a flattering way, and he was not one. In 1917 he had one of his biggest successes with the song "Rose Room", which was named after the hotel room.

Also known as


  • Hickman, Art
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