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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Kid Ory, surrounded by (l to r) Bonnie Bagley, Jim Klippert, Tommy Sancton
Jazzfest 1971 was an unforgettable occasion for me. My Boston-based Black Eagle Jazz Band was invited to play at the second Jazzfest. We had just recorded for Sire Records (the album eventually came out on the NBEJB label) and were thrilled by George Wein's invitation to play in New Orleans. Three of us almost missed the plane from Boston, arriving at the Jung Hotel at the last minute. We rushed onstage and played our hearts out for an hour and a half. The audience was enthusiastic, and I remember festival producer Wein jumping up and playing with us on the last few numbers. We played "Ice Cream" as en encore and got a standing ovation. As we left the stage, we received an unexpected honor: the legendary Edward "Kid" Ory, who'd been listening from the front row, came up and congratulated us on our performance. As I shook his hand, I marvelled at the thought that he had shaken hands and played with Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, King Oliver, virtually the whole Pantheon of early jazz legends. The moment has lingered in my memory ever since, part myth, part dream, part…did that really happen? Last month during French Quarter festival, I met a man named Dick Hill who not only remembered the moment, but had photographed it. I just received his prints from this memorable occasion. God! The memories, the memories...

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