Thursday, February 13, 2014
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE ORIGINAL BLACK EAGLE JAZZ BAND
Tony and I put the original group together in about 1969. Tony, a computer engineer, had recently arrived from Liverpool (via Ohio) and was looking for musicians who shared his passion of George Lewis-style New Orleans jazz. Somebody gave him my name, so he showed up at my dorm at Harvard one day and we immediately decided to put together a group of like-minded musicians in the Boston area. The guys in this photo were the first "generation" of the Black Eagles.
Soon after this photo was taken, Pam Pameijer took over on drums; Duquette moved to Texas and Peter Bullis filled the banjo chair. That was the group that recorded with Chester Zardis on bass in 1971 and played that year in the second New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, with Kid Ory on the front row. Ory shook our hands after the concert and praised the band—an unforgettable moment. Later that year, I graduated and left for Oxford, Klippert moved to California, and the band continued under Tony's leadership as the New Black Eagle Jazz Band. More than four decades later the NBEJB is still playing and prospering.