Hildesheim - a town of rich cultural heritage - also provides room for cultural niches. In one of them Oldtime Jazz began to develop at the beginning of the 60s. Several bands came into existence, among them were six young fellows who enjoyed playing their instruments in an old chicken coop in Roman Street. Because of this meeting place they called their band "Roman Street Paraders" who tried to emulate the kind of music played by the famous jazz musicians of the Mississippi Delta, especially by Louis Armstrong. Later the Dutch Swing College Band and their unforgotten leader Peter Schilperoort became their idols.
The young musicians did not mind whether their music was called Dixieland or Oldtime Jazz, most important for them was their enthusiasm which made them play the music of the two-beat.
The band was founded 50 years(!) ago. Some musicians joined the band, and in all the years the fellows - though having aged and all of them even having retired - have never stopped playing their music with vitality and verve.
This long period of playing music together - extraordinary for a band of amateurs - has been filled with numerous musical highlights: encounters on stage with the legendary Hagaw Band from Warshaw, the Old Metropolitan Jazzband from Krakow, the Rod Mason Ian Wheeler Jazzband and - ages ago - a performance together with Billy Mo. These highlights are part of the band's history and will never be forgotten.
The encounters with famous jazz musicians are enjoyed by the band as much as the direct contact with their jazz fans in Hildesheim and the surrounding areas. The Roman Street Paraders became popular and received acknowledgement at special performances in the municipal theatre of Hildesheim and as participants in several open-air festivals being traditionally presented by the "Jazztime Hildesheim". In the "Bischofsmühle", a well-known Hildesheim jazz cellar, the Roman Street Paraders made their audience cheer as well.
From the North Sea to the Harz mountains the band has been applauded by a large number of friends and fans for many years. A special relationship has been established between the band and their audience in Clausthal, a former mining town in the Harz mountains. Several gigs have taken place there and the performances never end until a traditional mining song has been played in dixie sound.
In the course of the years the band's style and expression have altered and increased. The band invested in instruments and equipment and varied their repertoire: now including swinging ballads and arrangements in the typical jungle-style of Duke Ellington, an example of which is "The Mooche".
In 2003 the band published a CD. This album comprises a collection of the Roman Street Paraders' repertoire presenting examples of the different epochs of Traditional Jazz ranging from the early New Orleans style to the swinging 30s of the Ellington Era.
The Roman Street Paraders still enjoy playing music together. Jazz has become an important part of their lives and week after week their motto is: "See you next Thursday..."