George Vital "Papa Jack" Laine (September 21, 1873 – June 1, 1966) was a pioneering band leader in New Orleans in the years from the Spanish-American War to World War I.
Laine in 1906
Many of the New Orleans musicians who first spread jazz around the United States in the 1910s and 1920s got their start in the Laine bands. Laine was a drummer, but was more noted for his skills at arranging and booking bands. Laine's musicians included individuals from most of New Orleans' many ethnic groups—African American, English, French, German, Italian, Jewish, Latin American, Scottish etc. Laine started leading bands before the Jim Crow codes went into effect in New Orleans.
Even after segregation laws started demanding "whites" and "colored" be kept separate, Laine continued to hire light- and medium light-skinned African-American musicians, claiming that they were "Cuban" or "Mexican" if any segregationist tried to start trouble. Hence some musicians who played with black bands like those of Buddy Bolden and Joe "King" Oliver also played with Laine. Thus there was a wide cross-fertilization of musical ideas in the Laine organization.
Laine retired from the music booking business by 1920, but he was interviewed a number of times, providing first hand accounts of the early days of the development of New Orleans jazz
Papa Jack Laine, nacido George Vital, fue un batería y contrabajista norteamericano de jazz tradicional, que nació en Nueva Orleans (Luisiana), el 21 de septiembre de 1873, y falleció en la misma ciudad, el 1 de junio de 1966.
Hacia 1890 forma su primera banda, dedicada a tocar ragtime, a la que llama Reliance Band. El grupo obtiene un gran éxito, lo que le permite mantener la orquesta durante casi tres décadas. Entre los numerosos músicos que comenzaron con Laine, están Nick La Rocca y George Brunis.
En 1917 se retira de la música, sin llegar a grabar un sólo disco ni salir de su ciudad natal, convirtiéndose en una de las leyendas del jazz.