Gregg Stafford

Gregg Stafford is a traditional jazz trumpeter and music educator who has led the Young Tuxedo Brass Band for over 30 years and is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the city’s brass bands.

Stafford grew up amidst New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood and the New Orleans  street parade community. However, he didn’t play music until high school, when he joined the school band. His trumpet playing skills soon landed him work with the E. Gibson Band, performing in parades and churches with his childhood friend Tuba Fats Lacen.

In the early 1970s Stafford joined Danny Barker’s legendary Fairview Baptist Church Band, formed by Barker to teach the old-line brass band culture to the city’s youth. When he was 16, Stafford began playing in several bands, including the Olympia Brass Band, Teddy Riley’s Royal Brass Band, and the Young Tuxedo Brass Band. Stafford began touring with the Young Tuxedo Brass Band and eventually worked his way up the ranks to bandleader, a position he still holds today. He also led the Heritage Hall Jazz Band, and, in 1994, the circle came around as he took over Danny Barker’s Jazz Hounds.

Stafford earned a degree from Southern University, and had careers in television production and as a public school math teacher while gigging at night and weekends, and while touring. In addition to leading his own bands, he performs regularly with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and fellow Fairview alumnus Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band.

When mentor Barker passed away, Stafford, Fred Johnson, and Benny Jones, Sr. founded The Black Men of Labor organization, which is dedicated to keeping traditional brass band music on the New Orleans streets. Stafford is well-respected for his teaching efforts to preserve and invigorate the old-line traditions, values, and practices of this unique New Orleans culture.

Stafford has recorded with many traditional jazz notables, including the Preservation Hall Brass Band, Dr. Michael White, and Wynton Marsalis, and with many of the city’s brass bands.


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