Steamboats Took our Music to the World: Jazz on the River

Photo by Greg Miles

Photo by Greg Miles

Captain “Doc” Hawley and Steamboat Stompers’ band leader Duke Heitger tell tales of life on Mississippi steamboats, past and present. Doc is the co-author of “Moonlite at 8:30” the story of excursion boats and the important shift from shipping materials to sending dance and music up the river. “Doc is truly a National Treasure”, says Duke, “He grew up on the river and his stories are pure gold.”

Duke’s Steamboat Stompers provide the daytime entertainment on the Steamboat Natchez and he plays his trumpet around New Orleans and the world. He also made his mark on popular music with his trumpet work on the Squirrel Nut Zippers million selling disc "Hot", earning him a platinum record.