UMS Concert Program, October 28, 1982: Preservation Hall Jazz Band --
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
RAYMOND BARROIS, Clarinet JEANNETTE KIMBALL, Piano FRANK FIELDS, Bass ALONZO STEWART, Drums, Vocals
"KID THOMAS" VALENTINE, Trumpet WORTHIA G. THOMAS, Trombone "MANNY" SAYLES, Banjo, Guitar EMANUEL PAUL, Saxophone, Banjo, Violin
Thursday Evening, October 28, 1982, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
No printed listing of the numbers to be played is possible because the musicians themselves don't know what they 'II play, beyond perhaps the opening and closing numbers. As the evening progresses they will decide what comes next, based on their unerring instinct for sizing up each individual audience. And because no two audiences are alike, no two concerts are the same.
Preservation Hall and Its Musicians
The name "Preservation Hall," in raised gold letters on two dilapidated musical instrument cases, hangs out over the St. Peter Street sidewalk in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter. The building was built as a house about 1750 and served as a tavern during the War of 1812. It needs painting, the floor boards are loose, and the seats for listeners are old benches, loose cushions, and odd kitchen chairs, but Preservation Hall is more an idea than a structure. It is where hundreds of people flock nightly to hear traditional New Orleans jazz played by the musicians who helped create it.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band is made up of three separate groups of musicians, enabling them to be on tour, play at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, and do spot dates all at the same time. Because almost all are in their seventies (or more!), last minute personnel changes are sometimes necessary.
THOMAS "KID THOMAS" VALENTINE If you dubbed Kid Thomas "Mr. Preservation Hall" you'd get little dispute from those in the know. He is a tradition in himself. Born in 1896 in Reserve, Louisiana, where his father was a trumpeter and instrument-keeper for the St. John's Parish Band, he played most of the instruments as a boy, but settled on the cornet. By 1915 he was playing cornet in clubs across the river, and in 1923 he moved to Algiers and joined the Elton Theodore Band. Within two years Kid Thomas was leading the band, and because of his exciting, stomping style, he developed a loyal following. In 1936 his band started a 20-year stint at the Moulin Rouge. He first recorded in England in 1964 and toured Japan with the late George Lewis in 1965. He has also toured Asia, Australia, behind the Iron Curtain, Europe, and South America. Kid Thomas is a natural showman and his exuberant command of his horn, along with his ratty tone, bespeaks rough New Orleans jazz.
WORTHIA G. THOMAS (Showboy) -Worthia was born in 1907 and began playing drums at age 14. His first band job was in Napoleonville, Louisiana, at a baseball game. Worthia had four uncles who were musicians, two of whom had conservatory training, and saw that musical education was available to their nephew. One of them started Worthia on trombone, and at 16 he went to New Orleans and studied
The University Musical Society expresses thanks to Drake's Sandwich Shop for its generosity and service to the community in underwriting the printing costs of this concert program.
Tenth Concert of the 104th Season
trombone with Professor David Jones, but always claims that Bill Matthews was also a principal teacher. In 1929 he began traveling. His first tour was with Robert Taylor's Knee High Review, followed by a succession of carnivals, minstrel shows, and traveling circuses, including 13 years with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. It was at this time he acquired the name of "Showboy." Later he played with John Tunkin's band in Alexandria, Louisiana, followed by six years with the Jay McShane band from Kansas City. He stopped traveling shows in 1960, his last with the Clyde Beatty show, and has remained in New Orleans. He has been with various groups, and has been a regular with Kid Thomas at Preservation Hall for a few years.
RAYMOND BARROIS (Raymond Burke) -Born in 1904 in New Orleans, Raymond was the nephew of early jazz musicians Jules and Leo Cassard and drummer Harold Peterson. He was six when he started his musical career with the harmonica. For some time he toyed with various instruments, but at 16 he bought his first clarinet for $3.00 and learned to play. He is self taught, and has been known as one of the greatest creative artists jazz has produced. Raymond's first recording was in 1925 with Columbia. He was a member of the "Goofus Tin Roofers." He has worked with all top New Orleans stars, and has been widely recorded with many, including Kid Thomas. Burke has not molded himself after anyone. He has his own ideas and tone that combine to produce an exciting experience for the listener. He has been a regular musician with Preservation Hall since the start.
EMANUEL "MANNY" SAYLES -Manny Sayles couldn't ask for more. "I'm happy playin' my music, I make people happy and I make money," he says with a grin. His music is New Orleans jazz and he's been playing it since 1924 when he was 17. Not that he isn't well-versed in all other types of popular music -like most musicians he's gone where the work was, and that meant being able to adapt to the style of the band he was with at the moment. Indeed, it was "where the work was" that encouraged him to teach himself to play banjo and guitar. He had formal training in playing violin and viola, but says he sat home waiting for jobs to come until he mastered the strumming instruments. Manny has played on the famous riverboats and had his own band in Chicago for awhile, but after 1949 New Orleans was home again. He's played with most of the greats, and recorded on the Nobility, GHB, Southland, Riverside labels and the Atlantic "Jazz at Preservation Hall" issues. He's been closely aligned with Preservation Hall since its founding. His brilliant and facile style makes him a favorite among fellow musicians and listeners alike.
EMANUEL PAUL -Emanuel Paul, born in 1904, played in a New Orleans church band as a violinist when he was 17, and later switched to the banjo so he could play dance jobs. Meanwhile, he learned to play the saxophone and concentrated on that instrument when he played with the WPA band. He started with soprano sax but soon changed to a tenor instrument. Between 1934 and 1939 he played with John Robichaux. In 1940 he joined the T-Boy Remy band, and through that group became a part of the famous Eureka Jazz Band where he was solidly instilled with the New Orleans sound and beat. In 1945 he began playing with Kid Thomas at the Moulin Rouge. He came to Preservation Hall with Kid Thomas and has been part of this famous group ever since.
JEANNETTE KIMBALL -Throughout her musical career, Jeannette has been most closely associated with Papa Celestin's Original Tuxedo Orchestra, a group she first joined and recorded with in 1926. She left the Celestin organization in 1935, not to join him again until 1953. In the intervening years she played with Herb Leary's big band, spent considerable time teaching piano, and appeared frequently at the Dew Drop Inn. Just prior to Celestin's death in 1954, Jeannette rejoined his group and recorded on the Southland label. She remained with the band under the subsequent leadership of Eddie Pierson and later Albert "Papa" French, with whom she performed for the next 20 years. One of New Orleans' most versatile pianists, Jeannette's style is not limited to the traditional, and she is in great demand as an accompanist by various dance, ballet, and other performing groups. She first appeared at Preservation Hall with Papa French in the early 1960s. She was born in New Orleans in 1908.
ALONZO STEWART -Alonzo is one of the youngest of the Preservation Hall musicians (born in 1919), but grew up in the tradition of New Orleans jazz and learned it well. He has played with Kid Howard, John Casimier, and Joe Robichaux, all rich contributors to the New Orleans sound. Alonzo graduated from Alabama State University where he played with the "Traniers," the band that followed Erskine Hawkins' "Bama State Collegians." He blended well with the big bands, but New Orleansjazz was his love and he returned home so he could immerse himself in it. He was overseas twice with the George Lewis group and toured Japan in 1970 with the Louis Nelson band.
FRANK FIELDS -Frank was born in Plaqueminc, Louisiana, in 1914. He was from an extremely musical family and received his early training from his father and uncle. In the 1930s he worked in the Plaqueminc area with local groups and for several years with Claiborne Williams. Following Naval service in World War II, he joined Dave Bartholomew who led the house band at Cosimo's recording studio in New Orleans. Here Fields made literally hundreds of recordings backing Fats Domino, Little Richard, Ray Charles, and other Rhythm and Blues artists. As one of New Orleans' most versatile bassists, he has accompanied and recorded with Cajun bands and the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra. In 1963 he became a member of Papa French's Tuxedo Orchestra, performing with the group well into the 1970s. He has been associated with Preservation Hall for several years, performing at the Hall and making tours under its auspices with both the traditional bands and the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 Phone: 665-3717, 764-2538
University Musical Society