and His New Orleans Jazz Band
Just hearing Steamboat Willie and His New Orleans Jazz Band is a memorable experience. Not only does he enchant even the most discerning critic; he has the ability to excite those who are not yet experienced veterans of this creative art form. He is a pre-'20s-music historian who plays obscure as well as "old favorite" tunes in a style all his own.
It's hot New Orleans jazz! The band consists of clarinet, trombone, tuba or string bass, piano and drums in addition to Steamboat on trumpet or cornet.
One can certainly hear the ghosts of Wild Bill Davison, the flavor of Louis Armstrong, and hints of Bix Biderbeck in Steamboat's horn playing. His vocals embody a brightness and clarity, evoking memories of Eddie Cantor, Al Jolsen and Rudy Valley. He has often been favorably compared to Leon Redbone.
Already playing cornet in church bands at the age of 8, Steamboat began developing his unmistakable style. "Playing fancy," he innocently called it then. His style influenced the other boys in the church band and they began playing something similar. They were constantly being reprimanded by the minister, "Now don't be jazzin' it up boys!" Steamboat had never even heard a jazz record. He was simply playing from his heart.
It is this natural talent that has earned him adoring fans all over the world. The feeling is mutual. Some people collect old recordings, others collect CDs or rare jazz film clips; Steamboat Willie collects people.
He has played his way up and down the Mississippi River and now lives in New Orleans where he continues to sing and play those magnificent old songs he first loved as a youth. He performs with a fervor and emotion that will lift the spirits of even the most weary visitor searching for the music that made our city famous.
Recent projects include an appearance with actor Larry Hagman in the television series Orleans on CBS, completion of an album and 3 CDs, a music video, a television commercial, as well as performances in several Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos.
Steamboat leads his group as house band at the historic Maxwell's Jazz Cabaret in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He is a showman. His energy is contagious. Audiences tap their feet, clap along, sing and dance to the music. Don't miss him. Be part of the good time.
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