[Dixielandjazz] RE: Kermit Ruffins

David Richoux tubaman at batnet.com
Mon Jan 31 11:25:45 PST 2005

I first saw Kermit when he was probably 13 or 14 years old, playing in 
a New Orleans "street band" that soon became the ReBirth Brass Band. 
Since then he and his various groups have been featured at Jazzfests 
and in all of the local clubs (and ReBirth has toured - headline status 
all over the world.)  He, (and they)  probably ask too much appearance 
money for most of our OKOM festivals. 

Also, if the OKOM  festivals (not in New Orleans)  book more black 
artists they will also have to expand advertising and education to make 
that target audience aware of the fact that there are bands actually 
playing this kind of music, the history of the music and how it relates 
to more current R&B, Hip-Hop and Soul styles. And that it is fun, cool, 
and not just for "Pink People."

Getting major "Urban" (as the market name-makers call it) radio 
stations involved in this process would be important.

It won't be easy... ;-)

Dave Richoux
On Jan 31, 2005, at 10:32 AM, Ed Danielson wrote:

> Steve Barbone wrote:
>>> Wonder why he is unknown amongst most Dixieland aficionados. He and 
>>> one of
>>> his bands would make great headliners for  your local OKOM Festivals.
>>> What? He's black too? I didn't know black folks played OKOM today. 
>>> :-) VBG
> Agreed, Steve.  Ruffins' CDs are very entertaining -- his version of 
> "Besame Mucho" (on a CD called "Big Butter and Egg Man") borders on 
> the comic but swings like mad.  I've never seen him live, but he must 
> be very skilled at working a crowd.
> I've been wondering about this issue for a long time.  There are other 
> excellent black trad players:  Dr. Michael White and Louis Ford, two 
> clarinet players from New Orleans, for example.  But you never see 
> them play trad festivals... and you rarely see black attendees.  I 
> would think that booking black artists might be an easy way to 
> increase the audience.
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