The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band Celebrates ‘A New Era’ Of Leadership
It was 1910 in the Big Easy when cornetist Papa Celestin performed with his band at the old Tuxedo Dance Hall in the heart of the city’s Red Light District. When the club closed its doors three years later, Celestin’s band kept the name and the legacy of his leadership lives on today in the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band.
In the Band’s 101-year history, only four men have assumed the leadership role: From Papa Celestin who guided the group for forty-four years, to trombonist Eddie Pierson who served for four-years, to banjo player Albert “Papa” French who directed the institution until his death in 1977, to his son, New Orleans drummer Bob French, who has served as the bandleader for the past thirty-four years. Each man has left his mark, but most importantly, collectively all men have successfully carried on the living legacy of the music of great American jazz bands.
On Monday evening December 5, Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel formally presents ‘A New Era’ of leadership for The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band when drummer Gerald French begins his tenure as the group’s bandleader. For only the 5th time in history, leadership of this New Orleans musical institution is passed on. At 7:00 p.m., the public is invited to attend a pre-concert reception celebrating the occasion followed by a special performance of The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band at 8:00 p.m.
Over the years, the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band has performed for several world leaders including the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Ireland and the President of France. Jazz pioneers like Louis Armstrong and Zutty Singleton performed with Papa Celestin during the bands early years. Current bandleader Bob French has performed with numerous jazz legends including Dave Bartholomew, James Crawford, Earl King and Fats Domino. The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band’s legacy continues this December 5th and can be enjoyed every Monday night thereafter at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz under the new leadership of drummer Gerald French.
“The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band is a living museum,” states Grammy and Billboard Award Winner, Irvin Mayfield. “It’s the bandleader that perpetuates the music, and Bob French has carried on a rich tradition by preserving history through his distinguished tenure,” Mayfield concludes. “We are pleased to present this event that honors Bob French and celebrates the band’s new era under the direction of his nephew, Gerald French,” explains Alfred Groos, President and General Manager of the Royal Sonesta Hotel.
Audiences will feel right at home at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse located inside the landmark Royal Sonesta Hotel in the heart of the historic French Quarter. Now, more than ever, the club is “the” destination of choice for all visitors seeking an authentic New Orleans music experience in the Big Easy. For more information on Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse please call (504) 553-2299 or visit www.sonesta.com/RoyalNewOrleans
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