is the founder and musical leader of the Lil Rascals Brass Band. Corey hails from a well-known and respected New Orleans Jazz family. His Grandfather, drummer Chester Jones, played with many New Orleans greats . His Uncle, Benny Jones, also plays drums and leads the Treme Brass Band. Corey was influenced by New Orleans trombonist, Jim Robinson, Wendell Eugene, and
Freddie Lonzo. When Corey is not appearing with the Lil Rascals, he can be heard with
Kermit Ruffins and the Barbeque Swingers.
GREGORY VEALS - Trombone
as a child, Gregory was always excited to see the large school bands which paraded through his neighborhood during Mardi Gras. He began his musical career in high school when he made the John McDonogh Trojans Marching Band under the leadership of then Band Master Dewayne "Lil Doc" Pauline, whose father, Ernest "Doc" Pauline helped launch the careers of many fine New Orleans musicians among them Donald Harrison and Dr. Michael White. Gregory has a powerful tone and a sweet approach that makes him naturally New Orleans.
WILLIAM SMITH - Trumpet
was introduced at an early age to New Orleans jazz by his older sister, long time Jazz
Fest staff member, Dodie Smith-Simmons and brother in law, trumpeter, John "Kid"
Simmons who would take him nightly to the world famous preservation hall, where
Dodie was also employed. Inspired by the likes of Percy Humphery, Ernie Cagnoletti,
Kid Thomas Valentine, DeDe Pierce, and others, he developed a love for the trumpet. In
1975, William joined the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band, founded by legendary
jazzman and author, Danny Barker. This band made yearly appearances and the Jazz and
Heritage Festival. Later, he organized his own band, the Jass Cats. William has played
and toured with the following brass bands “Doc” Pauline, Dejan's Olympia, Chosen
Few, Treme, Tornado, and the Pinstripe. As a member of the Lil Rascals Brass Band,
William has worked hard to maintain a connection to the roots of brass band music.
DEWON "Itchy" SCOTT - Trumpet & Drums
began playing in his Elementary School Kazoo band. Later in junior high school, he began studying the drums and played in the school's concert band which won superlative honors at the L.M.E.A.(Louisiana Music Educators Association) Festival. By High School, Dewon became interested in the trumpet. He is a valued member of the Rascals Band. He also plays with the New Birth and Treme Brass Bands. He also plays drums at Church.
JAMES DURANTE - Tenor Sax
was born in Memphis, Tn where he spent his early years hanging around the Music Clubs along historic Beal Street. There he was befriended by the musicians who gave him his first horn and lessons. When he was 20 years old, he left Memphis and headed for New Orleans. James' robust sounding horn and warm personality won the hearts of the Lil Rascals. When he is not playing with the Rascals, he can be heard with Buckwheat Zydeco.
TERRENCE and ELDRIDGE ANDREWS - Bass and Snare Drum
respectfully, are first cousins and are also from a musically rich family tree. Cousin James Andrews, leads his own New Orleans band, cousin Glenn Andrews, plays with the Rebirth Brass Band. Revert Andrews, Eldridge's brother, plays trombone with the Dirty Dozen. Their Great Uncle Jessie "Ooh Pooh Pah Do" Hill is a New Orleans legend and their cousin, the late great Louis Nelson, was one of the city's finest trombonist. Terrence and Eldridge got their musical start as young children when their Grandmother would take them to the French Quarter, she would also let them follow Tuba Fats and his Chosen Few.
JEFFREY HILLS - TUBA
a member of the Rascals Band, started learning music in a school concert band, led by Dr. Herman Jones. Young Jeff floats across the traditional jazz scenes in New Orleans, while taking the sousaphone to another level. While touring Europe, young Hills started grasping different sounds and styles of music. At the ripe age of 21, Jeffrey plays every Sunday night at the world renownnd Preservation Hall, where he performs with the Dejan's Olympia Brass Band. While in New Orleans, Jeffrey performs with several Brass Bands. The Lil Rascals Brass Band, The Jass Cats, and of course, Dejans Olympia. Jeffrey is absolutely the most energetic Sousophonist to hit the New Orleans scene since Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, the Grandfather of the New Orleans traditional jazz tuba.