This is an open-ended blog ranging from news about my latest gigs and publications
to ruminations about politics, world affairs, culture and whatever piques my interest—or ire.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


My old friend and former bandmate Tony Pringle recently sent me this photo of one of the earliest appearances of our Black Eagle Jazz Band in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in 1970. (That's me on the right sporting an afro and a Harvard crew shirt.) Other members of the band are Pringle on cornet, Ray Smith on drums, Jim Klippert on trombone, Eli Newberger on piano, and Dave Duquette on banjo.
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.

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