December, 2018

Oh, my gosh — November was a month of great music!!!  From the Pee Wee Russell-inspired clarinet of Jonathan Doyle at the Austin Lindy Exchange to the authentic Kid Ory sounds of On The Levee Jazz Band at the San Diego Jazz Fest, every single performance was a great pleasure.

Levee at San Diego Jazz Fest 2018



(On The Levee Jazz Band at San Diego Jazz Fest.  Photo by Veronica Haynes)

I couldn’t believe how much On The Levee sounded like the band which inspired it.  Ben Polcer, Joe Goldberg, Kris Tokarski, Alex Belhaj, Josh Gouzy and the amazing Charlie Halloran really captured the essence of Kid Ory’s music.  We played for large and enthusiastic listeners, innumerable dancers and received standing ovations throughout the Festival weekend.  Our friends Michael Steinman and Rae Ann Berry captured some of our best performances on video, and I will post links to them as soon as they are available.  We are definitely warmed up for our Austin Traditional Jazz Society concert in January!

After a long wait, volume two of Ragtime – New Orleans Style is now available!  The program includes several Rags which Jelly Roll Morton was planning to record in the late 1930s as well as other compositions played in the Morton tradition.  On The Levee bassist Josh Gouzy and this writer appear on several tracks, lending Ory-style rhythmic support to Kris’ wonderful piano playing.  (See the RECORDINGS page for ordering information).

Ragtime CD Cover


During December, I will be playing in San Antonio with the Brooks Prumo Orchestra; in New Orleans with Kris Tokarski, Jon-Erik Kellso, Evan Christopher and Meryl Zimmerman, then back in Texas with Floyd Domino’s All Stars and the Dan Walton Orchestra in Austin.  What a great way to end the year!


— Hal