The Young Fairview Baptist Church Christian Marching Band
(later to be know as the Fairview Brass band) performed from 1970 until 1974
(later mr Barker formed a second brass band)
From this musicians it's known that they played in the
Leroy Jones * (1970 - ),
Wynton Marsalis (1972), Morris Carmbs * ( - ),Greg Stafford * (1971 - 1972), Nasser Adams * ( - ), Gary Proctor * ( - ),
* ( - ), Gregory Davis
* ( - ),
Mervin "Kid Merv" Campbell, James Andrew
( - ),
Will Smith (1975 - )
( - ), Roy Paisant * ( - ), Michael Johnson * ( - ), Charles Lucien Joseph * ( -
), Lucien Barbarin, Mark Brooks
Joseph "Joe" Torregano
* ( - ), Gene Mims * ( - ), Thomas Mims * ( - ), Michael White ( - ), "Dusty" *
Eb clar( - ), Gene E. Olufemi ( - ).
Ronald Evans * ( - )
Darryl Adams * (1970 - ), Derek Cagnolatti * ( - ),
Darryl Wilkerson * ( - )
Kevin Harris, Brandford Marsalis (1972),
Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen
* ( - ), Kirk Joseph * ( - ),
Stephen Parker * ( - ), Alton "Big Al"
Carson * ( - ), Harry Sterling * ( - ), Eddieboh Paris also Eb sousaphone
Raymond "Puppy" Johnson * ( - ), Lucien Barbarin * ( - ), Christopher Sylvain * ( - ), Curtis
Joseph * ( - )
jr * ( - )
Leader and former
Leroy Jones remembered the musicians bookmarked with * as members of
the Original band from 1970.
Leroy Jones told me: "The Fairview Baptist Church Christian Marching Band
started in my parents garage at 1316 St. Denis Street, only about 40 to 50 meters
from the Fairview Baptist Church in 1970".
In an email of September 8 2005 he continues:
"I was the first youngster Danny Barker approached and asked about being a
member of this new band. He also appointed me as leader. This was in 1970. I
can't remember exact month, but I believe it was towards the end of that year,
maybe October? By 1974 Mr. Barker was getting a lot of heat from the local
musicians union in New Orleans, receiving false accusations, being accused of
exploiting us for his own monetary gains, since the original group only
consisted of juveniles. Of course I can vouch that non of that was ever true. By
this time we were able to fend for ourselves anyway. So the Hurricane Brass band
was established. That was my first brass band. Danny gave us that name, because
even when we were the Fairview Band, he told us we came up the streets like a
hurricane, blowing the other bands away".
by Tony Ray-Jones)
I asked Leroy about this picture and he mailed my this
... That's a very interesting and familiar photo.
My house, or I should say my parents house at 1316 St. Denis, where the
with the Fairview Band and later
the Hurricane Brass Band were held, is located just two more houses to the left.
In that picture the band is marching towards
the original Fairview
Baptist Church, located at the corner of St. Denis and
Buchannan Streets. From
who I can make out in the photo, in the back line
on alto saxophones are
Derrick Cagnolatti and Darryl Wilkerson. Visibly on the clarinet is Gene Mimms.
I can't make out the fellow to his left. It could be me.
On bones from left to right are Isaac Banks and Roy Paisant. The clarinet player
in the front appears to be Thomas Mimms and I can't tell who's on the
But it could very well
have been Michael Johnson that particular day. I seem to be
covered by Gene and it
doesn't look like my horn was up to my lips at that moment.
This was quite an early Fairview Band.
... It looks like it was on Easter Sunday, the church parade and first
neighborhood parade the band ever did. Thanks for sharing the
photo with me. I hadn't seen that one before...
In front of the Fairview baptist Church
From the left to the right:
Isaac Banks, Roy Paisant, Stephen Parker, Ronald Evans, Raymond "Puppy" Johnson,
Gregg Stafford, Leroy Jones, Charles Barbarin, Lucien Barbarin (behind Leroy),
?, Morris Carmbs, Harry Sterling (behind Morris), Gary Proctor.
In front: Thomas Mims, Derek Cagnolatti, Gene Mims, Darryl Wilkerson.
The boy behind the reeds is Raymond Johnson, who later played drums with the
1971, April 24:
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
(picture Floyd Levin)
The picture, with Danny Barker at the right, was made at Congo Square.
On the photo from the left to the right:
Raymond "Puppy" Johnson, Derek Cagnolatti, Lucien Barbarin, Harry Sterling (sign
holder), Ronald Evans, Michel Andrews (grand marshall), Stephen Parker, Charles
Barbarin jr, Leroy Jones, Morris Carmbs.
Picture by Michael P. Smith
From the left to the right:
Morris Carmbs trp; Leroy Jones trp; ? sous; Joe Torregano clar;
Gene Olufemi clar; Greg Stafford
Information by G.E. Olufemi
On the New Orleans Jazz & heritage Festival of 1972 Wynton and Brandford
Marsalis sat in with the brass band.
The band played at the Louisiana Heritage Feat, (which later became Jazz Fest)
The Fairview brass band played at the Jazzfestival of Breda (NL)
Leroy Jones and Gregg Stafford played in the band.
"Just to give you a brief history, the Fairview
band was started in my parent's garage at 1316 St. Denis Street, only about 40
to 50 meters
from the Fairview Baptist Church. I was the first youngster Danny Barker
asked about being a member of this new band. He also appointed me as leader.
in 1970. I can't remember the exact month, but I believe it was towards the end
year, perhaps October? By 1974 Mr. Barker was getting a lot of heat from the
musicians union in New Orleans, receiving false accusations, being accused of
us for his own monetary gains, since the original group only consisted of
course I can vouch that non of that was ever true. By this time we were able to
for ourselves anyway. So the Hurricane Brass Band was established. That was my
brass band. Danny gave us that name, because even when we were the Fairview
he told us we came up the streets like a hurricane, blowing the other bands away.
I knew all the musicians who came through the Fairview and Hurricane Bands, for
rehearsed at my home, in my parent's garage. A couple of guys I only remember by
nicknames, like Dusty, the Eb clarinetist, who was a cousin of the Barbarins".
(Leroy Jones: email September 9, 2005)
Barker was asked by Reverend Andrew Darby to help
organize a group of “young people,” into a brass band at the Fairview Baptist
Church. Jazz historians site Barker’s involvement with this band as his most
important contribution to Jazz. Barker proved to be as much a mentor as a music
teacher, showing how to dress for a gig, as well as what to play. Greg Boyd
wrote in an article from 1971, “Danny [Barker] says that the kids really had an
interest in old music and second line music, but didn’t have anyone to take time
with them. Danny would like to have them learn about the roots of traditional
New Orleans music.” In 1973 The Fairview Baptist Church Christian Band played at
the Louisiana Heritage Fest, which later became Jazz Fest, wondering the grounds
in Brass Band style. The band reaped praise, “…they were young and spirited and
sounded great,” wrote Joan Treadway, in a 1973 issue of the Times-Picayune. In
the same article Barker reveals his pleasure in the success of the band. “Some
people say that when the old musicians die, that will be the end of Jazz, but
I’m proving they’re wrong.”
I asked Bruce Braeburn, respected local drummer and
curator for the New Orleans comprehensive Paul Hogan Jazz Archive, if
Barker was as important as writers like Brock say, after all the highest
praise comes from a man who was once Barker’s agent. If one man had to be
singled out for his contribution to the resurgence of brass bands and
parading Braeburn told me, it would be Danny Barker. But Don’t forget,
Braeburn warned me, the scene wasn’t dead before Barker, there was still
plenty of music happening. Brass bands were well established. They just
needed someone to reach the next generation ears.
In the late seventies, before Louisiana complied
with the Right to work act for unions, union players could not play with
non-union players. Barker, who was not really a member of the band, was
still a part of the organization. The jazzman often march with the
Fairview, who were gigging regularly around the city. Fellow Union members
brought Barker before the board. His choice was to halt his role with the
Church Band or be fired from the Union, which at the time would have
financial suicide. Gathering the kids around, Barker said, “I have some
bad news. I have to stop working with you all.” The Fairview Baptist
Church Band ended, but not before hundreds of kids got schooled on their
roots.By B. Singer
Imagine New Orleans without jazz funerals or Sunday afternoon social
aid and pleasure club parades. No lively brass bands leading second lines
to celebrate special events. Picture Preservation Hall closing down for a
lack of traditional jazz musicians to fill the chairs of those who passed.
Under this sad proposition, we might not even have the French Quarter
Festival, which kicks off this weekend.
In fact, this is how trumpeters Leroy Jones and Gregg Stafford
envision New Orleans today if the late banjoist/guitarist Danny Barker
hadn't established the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band. In 1971, Barker
assembled a group of neighborhood kids and introduced them to New Orleans'
traditional music. Jones and Stafford, who are now nationally recognized
jazz artists, were members of the youthful ensemble that became an
incubator for musicians prepared to perpetuate the city's musical
"There probably wouldn't be a brass band scene like there is today,"
speculates Jones, who became Barker's first recruit into the kids' band.
"That was the rekindling of it within young musicians."
"I think the music may have died if it wasn't for Mr. Barker creating
the interest in people like myself," agrees Stafford. "I think about that
all the time. Because we were the last linkage to the second generation of
(traditional jazz) musicians who were born in the early 1900s."
When the Fairview's Reverend Andrew Darby approached Barker about
starting up a church band, the veteran musician's first stop was a nearby
house where he remembered hearing the sound of a young trumpeter
practicing. He immediately enlisted 13-year-old Leroy Jones in the
project, and soon the garage on St. Denis Street was transformed into the
band's weekly practice spot. Jones became the leader of the group that
primarily was composed of neighborhood kids. The ensemble also featured
the Barbarin brothers -- bass drummer Charles and snare drummer,
now-trombonist Lucien -- who were Barker's relatives.
Even at its beginnings, it was a sizable ensemble of musicians ranging
in age from 11 to 18, most of whom had some musical experience in their
school bands. It wasn't long before the membership swelled to about 30.
Stafford, who at age 17 was already playing trumpet with Uptown groups
including the Gibson, Doc Paulin's and the Reliance brass bands, had
already seen the Fairview band roll at a second-line parade. "There was
Leroy just blowin' up a storm," remembers Stafford. "And I was kind of
fascinated to see such a young group of kids." Soon thereafter, the late
trombonist Worthia Thomas introduced Stafford to Barker, who invited the
trumpeter to join the band.
At the ensemble's rehearsals, Stafford remembers Barker spinning
records so the kids could learn the tunes. "It wasn't formal training
because Mr. Barker had this notion that he didn't want to put any music in
front of anybody," says Stafford, explaining that Barker believed it might
discourage some youngsters. Jones recalls musicians like saxophonist Earl
Turbinton stopping by the practices to offer some pointers, and folks like
Preservation Hall founder Alan Jaffe donating instruments.
The Fairview band played its first gig at the 1971 New Orleans Jazz &
Heritage Festival, then held in Congo Square. By around 1972, future New
Orleans jazz veterans like drummer Herlin Riley, clarinetist Joe Torregano
and Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen took part in the band's increasingly
numerous engagements. More influential musicians would later join
Fairview's ranks, including trumpeter Gregory Davis, saxophonist Kevin
Harris and the Joseph brothers, tuba player Kirk Joseph and trombonist
Charles Lucien, who launched the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Besides church events, Barker started booking the Fairview band for
the weekly Sunday afternoon second-line parades presented by social aid
and pleasure clubs like the Jolly Bunch and the Scene Boosters. It also
was the subject of European and Japanese documentaries.
"We were the band, we were as popular as ReBirth and all those
bands today, and there were no other young bands like us," says Jones. "We
used to give the Olympia (brass band) hell."
Surprisingly, the Fairview's growing popularity became its downfall.
The Fairview was increasingly hired for parades that the veteran union
musicians once played. According to Jones, Barker started getting flack
from the musicians' union, which accused him of exploiting the kids for
monetary gains. "The (union) board told Mr. Barker he had to stop
participating (with Fairview) or he was going to be fined," explains
Barker kept his cool until he cut the Fairview band loose in 1974, and
helped Jones form the Hurricane Brass Band. Barker later became active,
though in a lesser capacity, with a second youthful Fairview group that
included clarinetist Michael White, trumpeter Merv Campbell and Edward "Boh"
Paris, among others. This ensemble was active for several years before
dissolving, marking the end of Fairview's brief run.
But almost a quarter of a century later, the rich legacy of the
Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band lives on. The lineup of the French
Quarter Festival is filled with Fairview alumni, and the sounds of
traditional music. Danny Barker would be proud.
Leroy Jones wrote in his notes of his CD "Back to my roots:
"I was introduces to New Orleans brass band music and traditional jazz by Danny
Barker when I was 13 years old. He was helping the pastor (reverend Andrew Darby) of his church, the
Fairview Baptist Church, organize a brass band or youth group for youngsters who
either played a musical instrument or might be interested in playing one, in the
Eddieboh Paris in an interview in Gambit Weekly:
If it hadn't been for the little shoplifting incident in the summer before
eighth grade, Eddieboh Paris wouldn't be a professional musician.
just a 10-cent Hubig Pie -- apple -- tucked into the waistband of his
shorts. But while Paris
was walking out of the grocery store, the pie fell -- right in front of
veteran jazzman Danny Barker, who had recently retired and moved back to
New Orleans from New York City.
looked at him and said, "Boy, you're stealing? I know your mama." The very
thought struck fear in Paris'
heart. His mother, Lois Joseph, worked long days as a registered nurse,
says Paris, and came home to "run the house like a boot camp."
continued, as if nothing had happened. "I have a surprise for you," he
said. "I'll be at the church tomorrow with Pepsi and all the hot dogs you
can eat -- with mustard, ketchup, chili, anything you want. But I want
something from you." And so Barker recruited Paris for the now legendary
Fairview Baptist Church jazz band.
dogs were a big draw, Paris
admits: "Because I'm the fourth of seven kids and when the food was gone,
it was gone." But next to the food was Barker with a bunch of
donated band instruments. He told Paris
to "put some of that energy to good use" and gave him an E-flat sousaphone.
"It was big and ugly, and I hated it," Paris recalls. "Then I thought, 'He's
going to tell my mama I stole that pie.'" So Paris stuck with it and
eventually learned to play the double B-flat sousaphone, the baritone horn,
slide trumpet, and -- his love -- the trombone.i1
The Fairview Band
performed at church events, Social & Pleasure Club events, Funerals, and
Second Line Parades all over the city of New Orleans. The band has
performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the
Smithsonian Institute Festival of Culture & Folklore. The Fairview band
later evolved into the Hurricane Brass Band, which became the seed of the
Dirty Dozen Brass Band.i2
In 1965 Danny Barker moved
back to New Orleans from New York City and formed a children's group led
by Leroy Jones known as the Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band. This
group began to attract attention and before long Harold
competition. As a result, Dejan complained to Musicians Union officials
about these underage kids taking their jobs and not being Union members.
Danny then encouraged Leroy to join the Union and Leroy formed the
Hurricane Brass Band. When Leroy decided to pursue a solo career, the
Hurricane Brass Band became the Tornado Brass Band, which in turn spawned
ReBirth, Dirty Dozen, Soul Rebels and New Birth Brass Bands. As the brass
band revival of the '70s and '80s exploded, Harold began to nurture and
encourage many of the younger players.i3
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