Jenkins Institute

Over 125 Years of Caring

This is a "Youtube" video from - "Moving Image Research Collections"

The "Jenkins Orphanage Band", this clip is from a 1928 newsreel. 

Perhaps the best known program at the Orphanage was the Jenkins Orphanage Band, which gained national recognition as a result of performances in several cities in the Northeast, Midwest and the South. The band made many trips to England where they performed for the Queen on several occasions. 

     A number of former band members went on to make a living by playing with outstanding band leaders like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton. Today the former residents of Jenkins Orphanage are living proof that the programs still work. Former residents have become doctors, lawyers, ministers, musicians, and teachers. 

     In 1905 the band played in President Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade and in 1909 President Taft's. It appeared at the St. Louis Exposition and the Anglo-American Exposition in London. The band has toured from coast to coast, played in Paris, Berlin, Rome, London, and Vienna. The band also played on Broadway for the entire run of the play "Porgy".

The “Jenkins Band Alumni” are all taken from the “Charleston Jazz Initiative” Web Site.  We are only bringing attention to the musicians that have a connection with “Jenkins Orphanage”, so you must read their full articles on the “Charleston Jazz Initiative” web site.  Musicians that played in the Jenkins Bands were not necessarily residents of the Orphanage.  The “Charleston Jazz Initiative” site lists many more artists from throughout South Carolina.  Be sure to visit this site and take advantage of all the information that their research has yielded. Any videos in this section are links to “Youtube”.