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LeroyJones, Trumpet BORN: New Orleans, February 20,1958 Founding member of the Fairview band; leader of the Hurricane Brass Band and currently of his own quintet Interviewed at the Palm Court Cafe, Decatur Street, September 2001 / startedplaying music at the ageof ten in the school band at St. Leo the Great School. I took the cornet, and the flute as my second choice, in case I didn't like the cornet. My first teacher was Sister Mary Hillary, •who was a trumpetplayer and a bandmasterat the school, aparochial schoolhere in New Orleans. I started in the band in thefifth grade. I learned musicfrom a conservatory method. I had lessons. I learned to read at the same time as I learned toplay the horn. My parents had rented a used one becausethere was nopoint in buying a brand new one;if I hadn't been interested, they'd have wasted their money. Anyway, within three months, I had developed an embouchure, and my teacher had noticed I had a very good ear and a higher musical aptitude than a lot of the other kids who were my contemporaries . So my teacher suggested that myparents should buy me a new horn at the end ofthejear. The teachernoticedthat when I was warming up, and when I was in the fifth grade, I was reading music at an eighth-grade level, so she knew I had some musical talent. My parents weren't musicians, so they couldn't determine that for themselves. The only other musician in my family was a cousin of'mine whoplayed trombone, not professionally but in the Fairview band, but we'll get to that later. I also had a girl cousin whoplayed the clarinet all through college; she was more classically trained. To this day, she can'tplay by ear to save her soul, and she can't understand howI do it. I don't understand it either. It's not somethingyou think about, you know? But fortunately, I read as well, soI'm not limited tojust one situation. At twelve years old, my family moved from our old address on Buchanan Street to 1316 St. Denis Street. It was approximately sixty yards from the Fairview Baptist Church. I was raised Catholic,but I was influenced heavily by the Baptist tradition and hearing gospel and soforth becauseof the music at Fairview Church.Eventually, I met 21 Danny Barker, who livedjust around the cornerfrom my house.Also, Ernie Cagnolatti, and Dave "Fat Man" Williams livedjust nearby. I grew up with Cag's grandkids. And the neighborhood wasfull ofyoungsters thatplayed in school bands, unlike today, when the musicprograms are a bit slack. It was much better in the late sixties and into the seventies. It's like, the bands thatplayed Dixieland and the traditional jazz on Bourbon Street sort of diminished going into the eighties, long before I ever went there. I've spoken to some of the older musicians, and they told me how vibrant the street was with bands in those days. I even caught the tail end of that,playing at a club that had three bands a night—in fact, most of the clubs had three bands a night. Anyway, I first met Danny Barker in 1971. I used topractice in mygaragefor five hours in the evening when I camehome from school. At ten, I had to close it. So I'd do my homework and startpracticing about five. I'd maybe take a break when my mom would callme in around seven. Otherwise, I'd play until ten. My dogused to howl in the alley when Iplayed my horn—I don't know if it's because I sounded good or if I annoyed the hell out of him. It didn't seem hard work: Ijust loved it somuch. I don't practice that hard today, because I'vedeveloped a technique that means I don't have topractice that much to keep my endurance up. Butfor thefirst five to tenyears of my development,I neverpracticed less than four hours every day. I wouldpractice out of the Arban method book. I had private lessons at the weekend with Sister Mary Hillary and with a local trumpet player called Dalton Rousseau, also Laurence Winchester,who was one of the instructors at St. Augustine High School, where I went to in 1972. I got to meet some local trumpet players through knowing Danny Barker. Some of my favorites wereJack Willis and Teddy Riley and our neighborErnie Cagnolatti.And I...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780807155820
Related ISBN
9780807133330
MARC Record
OCLC
849949632
Pages
216
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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