The quickest answer to that question would be 930 miles.
From a musical standpoint it is much more complicated and for that reason I will try to simplify it for you.
Traditional New Orleans style of Dixieland usually include these characteristics
• Strong marching band history
• Instrumentation which is more mobile (banjo, brass instruments, woodwinds, marching percussion (bass drum player, snare player, etc.)
• Strong emphasis on all four beats
• Generally a more ensemble approach to performance
• Use of solo performances is limited
• Literature generally derived from well known marches
Traditional Chicago style of Dixieland usually include these characteristics
• Smaller number of players (5-8)
• Instrumentation includes piano, drum set and many times acoustic bass
• Accents are placed on beats 1 and 3 (hence the term two beat)
• Ensemble playing is less important than individual solos
• Literature is derived from all forms of popular music including tin pan alley
• Individual players enjoy more attention than the band
The above lists are only part of many characteristics contrasting the two styles but with the information above, you should be able to recognize the unique styles from each other.
Notice that I have listed these as traditional characteristics for what was typical at the beginning of each, has now been mixed to the point that many Chicago style bands play in a traditional New Orleans style and New Orleans bands incorporate elements of a Chicago style. Even the word Traditional has it own meaning. When speaking of a traditional Dixieland band, we are generally referring to one with a New Orleans characteristic. The term “new” or “modern Dixieland” will refer to a Chicago style.
To illustrate a traditional or New Orleans style of Dixieland, please view this video-
Notice at the beginning the attempt of the band to simulate a marching ensemble. Each instrument was easily carried to the stage by its performer. Even the drummer marched in with his drum and the cymbals were played by the trombone player. Please take note that the drummer and the banjo player are both giving equal accents to all four beats in each measure as Traditional or New Orleans bands are known to do. Another important feature of this band is the absence of a piano player. The banjo in this band is functioning as, what will be in Chicago, the piano player’s responsibility. The spoken information shared on this video is also important.
A Chicago style of Dixieland is shown in this video-
This video of “When You’re Smiling” is typical of a Chicago rendition. Notice that the band opened with a vocal feature followed by individual players taking solos. Also present is a piano player as well as a banjo player. More time is spent featuring solos than we had in the previous recording. Notice also the “two beat” feel which is accenting beats one and three, differing from the even four beats in the first example.
While searching for examples of both New Orleans and Chicago Dixieland, I came across a video of one of the best known Chicago style bands and that would be the Dukes of Dixieland. This is a very interesting performance for it not only features the Dukes of Dixieland but also performing the same number is the Woody Herman band. As you watch the two group’s trade back and forth on the same number, notice the more aggressive solo playing of the Dukes compared to the structured and well rehearsed performance of the Thundering Herd.
Now enjoy the Dukes of Dixieland video