On Thursday, September 24, we'll be doing a live broadcast of Jazz in the Park with Russell Batiste & Friends and Free Agents Brass Band.
Russell Batiste is a well-known percussionist in New Orleans who regularly performs with The Funky Meters, Charmaine Neville, and The Joe Krown Trio. Batiste has also shared the stage with Champion Jack Dupree, Harry Connick, Jr., and Maceo Parker, among many others. Raised in a musical family in New Orleans, Russell Batiste started playing drums at the age of four. He also learned to play keyboards, saxophone, guitar and bass, and started to play in the family band when he was seven.
When Hurricanes Katrina & Rita came ashore and displaced its musicians throughout the world, a group of natives became the “Free Agents Brass Band.” Many New Orleanians had relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where they would soon become desperate to hear jazz music accompanied by a traditional second line that was an ingredient of the culture they loved in pre-Katrina New Orleans. Founded by bass drummer Ellis Joseph, the Free Agents Brass Band professed to fill that yearning void. “I consider myself a free agent, so that’s where the name came from,” says Joseph. More than half a dozen other "free agent" musicians united to create the new brass band. They've been performing together since 2006.
The next episode of WWOZ's Cuttin' Class is slated for Thursday, September 17 at noon with the mighty Edna Karr High School Brass Band.
Edna Karr is located in the heart of Algiers and has serviced students in the New Orleans area since 1964, first as a junior high school through 1990; then as a junior-senior high magnet school; and now as an open-access high school with grades nine through twelve.
2 shows, 8 & 10
WWOZ will live broadcast the 8pm set: www.wwoz.org/listen/player/
Yoshio Toyama and the Dixie Saints are masters at playing classic New Orleans styled jazz. Yoshio’s wife Keiko plays banjo & piano while he plays trumpet and sings like his idol, Louis Armstrong. Yoshio Toyama fell in love with the music of “Pops” as a teenager, and he and Keiko came to New Orleans to learn to play jazz in 1968. They were newlyweds living in a little apartment above Bourbon Street, learning from such masters as Percy Humphrey and “Sweet Emma” Barrett. In 1973, they went home to Japan and they’ve been playing traditional jazz ever since. Yoshio is now known as the “Satchmo of Japan”. Yoshio and Keiko started the Wonderful World of Jazz Foundation in 1994 after visiting New Orleans and seeing how things had changed since they’d left. They started gathering instruments and donations, and every year when they come for Satchmo Summer Fest, they bring gifts to the young people of New Orleans. So far, their foundation has donated nearly 800 musical instruments to local schoolchildren.