Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Started in 1972, the Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band was established by Danny Barker in New Orleans. The band achieved considerable local popularity, and few of the musicians: trumpeter Gregory Davis, sousaphonist Kirk Joseph, trombonist Charles Joseph, and saxophonist Kevin Harris continued to rehearse together thru 1977. They were joined by trumpter/singer Efrem Townes, Roger Lewis on saxophone, and drummers Benny Jones and Jenell Marshall.

The band initially called themselves the Original Sixth Ward Dirty Dozen, a name designed to show their strong connection to the Tremé neighborhood and the local social club scene. In 1980, Jerry Brock made the first professional recording of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, which was played constantly on WWOZ.

In 1986, the band recorded Mardi Gras at Montreux (Jazz Festival in Switzerland) on Rounder Records. The album and the band's touring successes attracted major label attention, and in 1987 the band signed a contract with Columbia. Their Columbia debut, 1987's Voodoo, featured guest appearances by Dr. John, Dizzy Gillespie, and Branford Marsalis.