Surfin' to New Orleans - title bar




City Info






How come my dog don't bark when you come around?


New Orleans has produced perhaps the most diverse conglomeration of musicians of any city on the planet. New Orleans is widely known as the birthplace of jazz, but perhaps less widely recognized as the cradle of rhythm and blues and funk. Long ago she was a city of Opera. She became a city of brass, especially the trumpet.  She is a city of the piano. She is a city of the conga drum.  She is a city of rhythm, so she is a city of   the bass. New Orleans's jazz and funk drummers are among the world's best.

Despite her long musical history, the city seems to ever renew herself. Brass Bands continue to make a welcome comeback. Latin bands are on the rise. We've seen the return of swing dancing. The Jazz Fest is bigger than ever. The New Orleans afro-carib-latino-jazz-funk gumbo is brewing hotter than ever.  In short, there is no end to the musical talent in this city!

Notes on the list:
The musicians are organized into the following categories:

New Orleans is a musical gumbo: voodoo funk mixed with modern jazz, mixed with some afro-Cuban rhythm, with a little bayou rock thrown in, some country and swing for good measure, a brassy second line to keep things straight, a dash of  reggae to keep everything irie, a gris gris roux of blues with a sprinkle of dixieland to top things off (oh, and don't forget a little tambourine poppin' gospel).   Because New Orleans music is this outrageous, non-stop gumbo it is rarely easy to place its musicians into strict categories.  Therefore, the following categorizations are used for convenience, but are at best approximations, sometimes they're just wrong: Jazz, Brass Band, R&B, Funk, Piano, Blues, LatinEthnicRock, Reggae, Rap, Gospel, Cajun and Zydeco, Cover Bands

Active in the City

Do the Palm Court strut, swing your butt!

Pete Fountain (clarinet)- Born in 1930, Pete Fountain is one of the city's longstanding jazz ambassadors. He can still be found leading the Rex Parade on Mardi Gras Day with his "Half-fast walking Krewe." Bio by Offbeat
Kermit Ruffins(trumpet, vocals)- A great entertainer. Formerly with the original formation of the Rebirth Brass Band, now leading his own band the BBQ Swingers (quartet or quintet) as well a s a "Big Band". Kermit opened his own music club in 2000.
Kermit Ruffins-page by Satchmo (see previous entry)
Michael Ray & The Cosmic Krewe (trumpet) -Music to blow your mind. Ray played with Sun Ra, now he dishes up his own brand of other worldly funk. Page by Satchmo
Charlie Miller (trumpet) - was formerly the music director of Dr. John's Band
Jamil Sharif (trumpet)- the son of trumpeter Umar Sharif, Jamil carries on the musical lineage; he is director of the New Orleans Jazz Professors
Terence Blanchard (trumpet) - One of New Orleans' fine trumpet players. Playing with Donald Harrison Jr. in New York he helped advance interest in acoustic jazz in the 1980s. Site by NPR
James Andrews (trumpet, vocals) - New Orleans brass band style trumpet player and vocalist. Similar to Kermit Ruffins. Page by NYNO Records.
Charles Neville Solo (sax) -Like all the Neville Brothers, Charles has his own solo projects.
Donald Harrison (alto sax)- Noted for his work with Art Blakey (see Terence Blanchard), he can also been seen with the Wild Magnolia Mardi Gras Indians.
Donald Harrison - (see previous entry)page by NPR
Ellis Marsalis (piano) The patriarch of the Marsalis musical family. He teaches and plays piano. Page by Sony Music
James Rivers (reeds: sax, flute, bagpipes etc.) -I'm The Man, CD info
Johnny Vidacovich (percussion) - The Crescent City's most intense jazz drummer. He is a member of Astral Project.
Tony Dagradi Trio - "Live at the Columns" on Turnipseed Records: Tony Dagradi- Saxophones, James Singleton- Bass, John Vidacovich- Percussion
New Orleans Jazz Professors
Astral Project - New Orleans' veteran Modern jazz outfit. Sure to take you with them into the jazzophere, these guys take off and don't seem to land. page by Compass Records, "Elevado" CD release
David Morgan Trio -from San Francisco, studied music in N.O., piano, bass, drums, CD released on Turnipseed Records, audio clips, bio
Rene Netto and the Sounds of New Orleans- Dixieland jazz, audio samples, ordering info, etc., by Bubba G's
The Original Dixieland Jazz Band
Marvin Williams (bass)-
John Sinclair (voice) -sorry, broken link Blues Mental Patient, page by IkoIko
Leroy Jones (trumpet) - sorry, no link
Bob O'Rourke (trombone) - no link
Michael Ward (violin) -sorry broken link by Ralph Records:

Brass Bands
Feet don't fail me now!  Feet don't fail me know!

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Lil' Rascals Brass Band
Soul Rebels - A brass band with an edge, expect reggae, rap and soul with this group.
New Orleans Nightcrawlers
The Rebirth Brass Band - Leading the Brass Band Renaissance since 1983
Coolbone -article by OffBeat
The Treme Brass Band -article at OffBeat, photos from Donna's Bar and Grill

Funkify your life! Get on down!

The Funky Meters -biography
New Orleans Juice - Self-described as Psychedelifunk
The New World Funk Ensemble
Galactic - The official site of the New Orleans' funk Band. These guys have come a long way.
Galactic -presented by Fog City Records
Stanton Moore (drums) founding member of Galactic, now has a solo release.
George Porter Jr. (e. bass) bassist for the original Meters and now with the Funky Meters as well as his own band -page by Yatcom
George Porter Jr. (e. bass) -the official web site
David Russell Batiste Jr. (drums) - The percussive engine behind the Funky Meters and Papa Grows Funk, he also leads the Orchestra From Da Hood. Russell is one of the city's very best drummers.

Papa Grows Funk - This all star line up of players featuring Russlle Batiste, Jon Gross, June Yamagishi, and Jason Mingledorff has not disappointed.
All That
Way of the Drum - sorry, no link formed in 1995, play RockAFunkAReggaDelic
Iris May Tango - sorry, no link
Smilin' Myron - sorry, no link
Brides of Jesus - sorry, no link

Let's try to talk it over, 'cause this is where you belong!
Old school hit-makin' New Orleans R&B was just about killed in the Beatles Invasion of 1964.  Those active today have survived and evolved through the 70's and 80's -- they are here to bring you New Orleans own soulful, voodoo rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues!

Irma Thomas (voice)- the "Soul Queen of New Orleans," artist profile by Rounder Records
Aaron Neville (voice)
Neville Brothers -the official web site of the New Orleans' first family
Art Neville (keyboards)
Cyril Neville & The Uptown Allstars (percussion)
Gary Brown (sax)
Tim Green (sax) - perhaps N.O.'s most soulful saxaphonist, originally from Connecticut he has lived and worked for more than 20 years in the Crescent City, he now gigs and records with dozens of bands.
Walter Wolfman Washington (guitar, voice) -if you like r&b with your blues look no further.

Hey lookie there she ain't got no hair!

Henry Butler (piano, voice) -profile
Henry Butler - the offical site for this piano extraordinaire. Check out his collaboration with blues guitarist Corey Harris. Click Here
Eddie Bo (piano, voice) -the official web site of one of New Orleans' piano greats
Eddie Bo
Jon Cleary (piano, voice) - this transplated Englishman brings an unmatched combination of piano funk and soulful songwriting to his adopted city; he has collaborated with Taj Mahal and others. His band is the Absolute Monster Gentlemen.

I lost my job but I don't care.

Clarence Gatemouth Brown- (guitar, violin) -artist bio by Alligator  Records
Chris Thomas King (guitar, voice, etc.)- bringing us 21st Century Blues from roots to rap.
Corey Harris (guitar) -a Denver native, but he made it to the streets of N.O. via Africa. Check out recent his collaboration with piano wizard Henry Butler!
Kenny Neal (guitar) -Alligator Artist Bio;  from Baton Rouge
Keb' Mo' (guitar)-the official web site
Kipori Woods - Young bluesman schooled in the New Orleans tradition.
John Mooney (guitar) blues magic by USA Today
J. Monque'D Blues Band (voice, harmonica) -page by Offbeat
Jumpin Johnny Sansone (accordion) -plays blues on the accordion
Sonny Landreth (guitar)-from Mississippi, moved to Louisiana, mixes Cajun sounds with slide guitar blues (see also Rock).
Jeff Chaz (guitar) - Bluesman from Lake Charles/Creole, he returned to New Orleans in 1997. His most recent CD is entitled "Tired of Being Lonely." Influenced by Albert King.
Mem Shannon (guitar, voice) - an original and powerful bluesman, Mem's years as a cab driver in New Orleans have given him political and social insights which he works into his songs with considerable mastery.
Brint Anderson (guitar)- under construction
Marva Wright (voice) -N.O.'s biggest blues belter!
John Carey (harmonica) page by Satchmo

Caliente! Caliente! Caliente!

There is more Latin music in New Orleans than is represented here. I'm trying to catch up.

The Iguanas a good tex-mex time guaranteed, twin saxophones help propel this fun outfit
Los Hombres Calientes the hot Latin Jazz combo that many of us have been waiting for featuring Irvin Mayfield on trumpet, Bill Summers (former Headhunter) on percussion, and Jason Marsalis on drums -page at Basin Street Records
Latin Train - relocated from the Hawiian Islands

Hey Pockey Way!
This is used as more or less a catch-all category for groups who fit even less into the other categories.  Some are phenomena specific to New Orleans, others New Orleans original fusions, and, alas, the philharmonic.

New Orleans Klezmer All Stars - Nothing like you've ever heard, unless you've 'shroomed through a Jewish, Gypsy wedding on a New Orleans Riverboat
Jeremy Lyons (guitar, vocals)- Forming a trio with the Deltabilly Boys, these folks play an original brand of roots music full of spirit, wit, and talent best described as Deltabilly Swing -- and you can dance to it. Check them out at the Dragon's Den or Margaritaville.
Mardi Gras Indians - the original New Orleans phenomenon: costumes, chants, precussion, funk, second-line yo' mind
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra -a real big band

I found my thrill on blueberry hill.
This broad category includes bands that play anything from soft pop to heavy metal, with some swing, country, blues, and folk in-between

Amy and the Hank Sinatras-playing swing jazz, blues and country
Theresa Andersson (voice, violin) - The Crescent City has been happy to adopt this Swedish diva with her fresh and sensual voice and stage presence.
Mulebone -formed in 1995, the 1998 Offbeat Music Awards "Best New Rock Band," Mark Mullins on trombone
Royal Fingerbowl -3 piece jazzy, bluesy rock
Brown Sox
Cowboy Mouth
Dash Rip Rock
Drew Young- relocated to the Crescent City from Athens/Atlanta, GA
Anders Osborne
Continental Drifters
Paula and the Pontiacs -Paula sings, plays sax and harmonica while the band plays rock, blues and swing.
Peabody -pop, rock band formed in 1990, female lead vocalist a la Natalie Merchant
The Radiators - Playing groovy music for fishheads for 25 years. "Less we become as little fishes, ye shall not enter the spillway of heaven." Trout 7:11
Lump's Digital Dump punk band with brass and reeds, well done web site
Bingemen -home of the now disbanded roots rockers at Satchmo
Ginger Quail -punk band, audio clips
Verge -pop rock band
Clearwater -rock, blues, ska, funk band
17 Minutes
Love Grin -pop, rock with melodic female vocals, good web site
Rigid -3 piece rock band
Sonny Landreth (guitar) -(see also blues) an excellent slide guitarist.
Smack -hard rock band from 1995
Tom's House  -pop vocal group- guitar, bass, drums, keyboards
Zebra  -heavy rock vocal group- guitar, bass, drums, keyboards
Mark Carson's Home Page -pop
Andi Hoffmann & B-Goes- Andi from Switzerland became fascinated with the Crescent City on a visit in '93, he decided to stay and put together a band to play funky, multi-cultural roots rock.

Lively up yourself.

The Revealers
Irie Vibrations
Irie Dawtas

Rap relatively new on the scene.  Rap doesn't find so many friends in this city steeped as it is in musical tradition.

The Ghetto Twiinz- at Virgin Records
Juvenile -"a hot rapper with more than ten years experience of ripping shows, dropping cold-as-ice lyrics and laying it down for 'Uptown' New Orleans" -page by Cash Money Records
Big Tymers  -"New Orleans hip-hop has its own unique flavor steeped in the city's rich musical tradition." -page by Cash Money Records

Just a closer walk with thee.

Lyle E. Henderson & Emmanuel -singing gospel for 24 years since the age of five, now available on CD

Cajun and Zydeco
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
These musical forms are actually from the Southwest part of Louisiana, but the musicians listed here play in New Orleans

Chubby Carrier
Bruce Sunpie Barnes
Bruce Daigrepont
Zachary Richard
The Freelance Pallbearers -"Blues, Funk, and Zydeco to spice up your next event?"

Cover Bands
Play that funky music white boy.

Bag of Donuts One of the city's most popular cover bands; an eclectic band with a sense of humor.
The Topcats
Brother Keyle and the Funky Beans
Heart & Soul - Dance music since 1986
Vegas Gold Show and Dance Band
Oak Alley -7 member band for parties, weddings etc.
Soul Shop - playing soul, R&B and that New Orleans groove thang at the Treasure Chest,  private functions and clubs.
The Super Star Band - Playing the convention/corporate/club circuit

Active Mostly Elsewhere

Dr. John (piano) - The Night Tripper, New Orleans' original vodoo funk ambassador.
Harry Connick Jr. (piano, voice) -the official fan page
Wynton Marsalis (trumpet) - Currently rules as the king of the trumpet, in terms of control and perhaps virtuosity, perhaps the jazz world's most articulate musician-spokesman (ever?).
Wynton Marsalis (trumpet) -page by Jazzworld,
Wynton Marsalis (trumpet) -page by NPR
Marsalis on Music
Branford Marsalis (sax) at Sony Music
Nicholas Payton (trumpet) catch Nicholas at the N.O. Jazz Fest, Snug Harbor, or on one of his gigs around the country.

Sam Butera (tenor sax, voice) - Born in New Orleans in 1927, Sam began playing with Louis Prima (and Keely Smith) in 1954 and and put the wail in Louis' "Jump Jive and Wail". This classic performer is still playing Vegas and venues around the world.
Frankie Ford- (voice) Hit it big with "Sea Cruise," "known all over the world as the 'New Orleans Dynamo' and spends about 200 days a year on the road."
Chris Smither (guitar)
Zigaboo Modeliste (drums) -former funk innovator with the Meters, now in California
Marcia Ball (piano) -from Vinton, Louisiana, she plays N.O. style piano in Austin
3rd Echo -trio playing "New Orleans world rock" since 1990
Afroskull - Funk meets jazz meets heavy metal in this New Orleans outfit now based in New York.

Active Reserves

The Dixie Cups - this singing duo from Lake Charles hit it big with "Chapel of Love" as well as their rendition of Jamies "Sugarboy" Crawford's "Iko Iko". They still perform yearly at the Jazz Fest.
Clarence Frogman Henry (voice) -popular hit with 'Ain't Got No Home' -OffBeat editorial
Oliver "Who Shot the La La" Morgan - biographical liner notes at NYNO Records
Allen Toussaint (piano) -"He produced and arranged (and sometimes wrote) a string of classic sides for such New Orleans R&B artists as Lee Dorsey, Jesse Hill, Ernie K-Doe and Chris Kenner." -page by Hall of Fame
Allen Toussaint "began emulating the piano style of Professor Longhair while in grade school"- page by Love New Orleans Sounds
Fats Domino (piano) -"Domino collected 23 gold singles and sold 65 million records, more than any other '50s-era rocker except Elvis Presley." -page by Hall of Fame
Fats Domino -an unofficial homepage for the rock 'n' roller
Dave Bartholomew (trumpet) "helped develop and define the sound of rhythm & blues in the Fifties" -page by Hall of Fame
Jean Knight (voice) One hit wonder in 1971 with the #2 chart topper "Mr. Big Stuff" -page by Stax
Jerry Lee Lewis (piano) -from Ferriday, LA -page by Hall of Fame
Little Richard  (piano) -not from New Orleans, but made early recordings there -page by the Rough Guide
Lloyd Price (voice) "Among the premier rhythm & blues singers of the Fifties and Sixties" -page by Hall of Fame
Henry Gray (piano) - born outside New Orleans in 1925, Henry has played blues piano since he was eight, including 12 years with Howlin' Wolf.

Active on the Stereo

Honore Dutrey (trombone) 1894-1935 -page by Red Hot Jazz
Joe King Oliver   (cornet) 1885-1938 "He was the mentor and teacher of Louis Armstrong. Louis idolized him and called him Papa Joe."-page at Red Hot Jazz
Jelly Roll Morton (piano) 1890-1941 "Jelly Roll Morton was was the first great composer and piano player of Jazz." -page by Red Hot Jazz
Jelly Roll Morton  photos of and info about this jazz pioneer
Sidney Bechet (sax, clarinet) 1897-1959 -"Sidney Bechet was unquestionably the king of the soprano saxophone and one of the most innovative and original clarinetists in jazz." -page by NPR
Sidney Bechet "Bechet was one of the great soloists of early Jazz." -page at Red Hot Jazz
Louis Armstrong (trumpet) 1900-1971 -"Louis Armstrong was the greatest of all Jazz musicians. Armstrong defined what it was to play Jazz." page at Red Hot Jazz
Louis Armstrong - A discography
Mahalia Jackson (voice) 1912-1972 "Mahalia Jackson reigned as a pioneer interpreter of gospel music whose fervent contralto was one of the great voices of this century." -page by Hall of Fame
Kid Ory (trombone) 1886-1973 "Kid Ory was the greatest trombone player in the early years of Jazz." -page at Red Hot Jazz
Chris Kenner (voice)1929-1976 - Short bio
Louis Prima (voice) 1910-1978 - bio and discography at Space Age Music.
Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd) (piano) -1980 "Professor Longhair became the embodiment of New Orleans rhythm and blues at the peak of his musical career in the late '70s." -page by OffBeat
Professor Longhair " Byrd's idiosyncratic style is a rhythmic jambalaya reflecting the freewheeling, good-time spirit of the Crescent City." -page by Hall of Fame
Larry Williams (voice) 1935-1980 - a one page bio
James Booker (piano)1939-1983 "His fingers going across the keys looked like a nest of spiders let loose on the piano." -page by OffBeat
Lee Dorsey 1924-1986 - one page bio
Paul Gayten 1920-1991 - short bio
Jessie Hill 1932-1996 - obituary at Offbeat
Raymond A. Myles (voice) -murdered in New Orleans, October 1998, page by OffBeat one of the most memorable jazz fest performers I've seen, and I've seen hundreds and I said that before he was killed for his car.
Raymond A. Myles -Knew how to work a crowd like no other---murdered in New Orleans, October 1998, page by NYNO Records
Johnny Adams (voice) - 1998
Al Hirt (trumpet) - brief bio, discography by a fan
Ernie K. Doe (voice) 1936-2001 - A great entertainer. His biggest hit was "Mother in Law." Visit the official web site of the late "Emperor of the Universe."
Earl King (guitar) 1934-2003 - "Earl King can be considered one of the main inventors of what has become rock 'n roll and rhythm and blues." -page by OffBeat
Earl King -bio by Cascade Blues Association (not found 26 Feb 99)
Champion Jack Dupree (piano, voice)
Danny Barker (guitar, voice)


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