[Dixielandjazz] Lorenzo Tio and family

TBW504 at aol.com TBW504 at aol.com
Wed Aug 8 06:30:56 PDT 2007



I found the Riverwalk site a bit thin in regard to the Tios. A wealth of  
info. can be found in "The Song for Me" -
The origins of the Tios is somewhat confused and the  oral histories at the 
Tulane jazz archive are somewhat incompatible with one  another. Charles Elgar, 
Ricard Alexis, Natty Dominique, Louis Cottrell and Peter  Bocage all have 
spoken in recollection of the Tios but do not agree in all  details. In fact in 
some respects they are contradictory. It has become part of  jazz folklore that 
Lorenzo and Luis Tio were students at the Conservatory of  Music in Mexico 
City and came to New Orleans with the so-called "Mexican Band",  begging the 
question, which one of the several Mexican bands? The facts are  otherwise. From 
a study and correlation of the available evidence it appears  that the Tio 
brothers' parents were born in Louisiana and were "free persons of  color" who 
emigrated to Mexico around 1860. The brothers Luis and Lorenzo  received formal 
training in music, although the Conservatory training is now  thought to be 
fanciful, as is the return in the "Mexican Band". It can be  surmised that 
Lorenzo Sr. was the less-skilled of the two since it is known that  he also 
received instruction from Luis. The family returned to Louisiana around  1878.   It 
is most unlikely that they were unable to speak English as  has been said by 
some. There is evidence that they were trilingual, speaking  Spanish, French and 
English. In an interview with Rose Tio Wynn (born. Aug.13,  1918) that Barry 
Martyn & Jack Stewart did on Nov.29, 1999 she said: Lorenzo  Tio Jr.'s real 
name was Anselmo Lorenzo Tio. He married Lilian Bocage (who  played guitar but 
not in public) and they took Charlie Bocage to live with them  (Charlotte 
Bocage's grandfather - q.v.). Rose Wynn's grandfather was Lorenzo  Augustine Tio, 
born Vera Cruz, Tempico, Mexico. who married Alice Major, a part  Choctaw 
Indian. The family went to Mexico in 1832 (sic - though this seems  debatable) to 
settle on the Eureka Colony. Peter Bocage's sister, Bertha, played  bass and 
his father made boats and bass fiddles. Eddie Pierson was her cousin.  Important 
new information has come my way:  in 1993 Charles Kinzer gained  his Ph.D. at 
Louisiana State University with a dissertation, "The Tio Family:  Four 
Generations of New Orleans Musicians" in which he demonstrates that a  Marcos Tio 
who was born in Catalonia, Spain owned in the 1790s business premises  in what 
was to become Decatur Street, New Orleans. Marcos had a grandson, Thomas  Tio 
born in 1828 who played clarinet, and two of his sons Luis (Louis) and  Lorenzo 
both followed in the father's footsteps, also playing clarinet.
TIO,  Anselmo Lorenzo, Jr.      Clarinet; tenor sax;  oboe
18931, Apr 21: Bay St Louis, MS    1933, Dec  24
The son of Lorenzo Tio, Sr. and a nephew, obviously, of Lorenzo's brother,  
Louis "Papa" Tio. Lorenzo Jr. was a famous teacher who numbered amongst his  
pupils Jimmie Noone, Albert Nicholas, Barney Bigard, Omer Simeon, Emile Barnes,  
Louis Cottrell, Jr., Johnny Dodds and Wade Whaley. He was supposed to have 
been  born in New Orleans and raised in Bay St Louis, but it is now thought that 
he  was born there too. Lorenzo worked with the Onward Brass Band, 1910, and 
Papa  Celestin, 1913. He also played with Joe Oliver at Pete Lala's, around 
1915. He  is credited as having worked out the breaks for "Sister Kate" .Emile 
Barnes  remembered that Lorenzo Jr. used a very stiff reed and that on 
occasions he  could get a hard, rough tone and would employ a growl.   In 1915 he  was 
with Manuel Perez, and also Armand J Piron. When he was in Chicago in 1917,  
working with Charlie Elgar, and Manuel Perez, he is said to have surprised the 
 clarinet players there by transposing in every key on his B-flat clarinet,  
whereas the locals were using both A and B clarinets. On his return he 
rejoined  Celestin. From 1918 he was in New York with A J Piron with whom he recorded 
in  1923. Also recorded with Clarence Williams in 1924, and Jelly Roll Morton 
in  1930. In 1930 he made his home in New York where he was to die. He once 
told  Louis Cottrell that his best pupil was Omer Simeon. Lorenzo was married 
to Peter  Bocage's sister, Lillian (see entry for the Bocage family). Harold 
Dejan is one  of many New Orleans musicians who insist that Lorenzo Tio wrote 
the tunes "Mood  Indigo" (originally known as "Dreamy Blues") and "Sophisticated 
Lady" and sold  them to Duke Ellington. TIO, Lorenzo Augustine, Sr.  Clarinet
1866: Vera Cruz,  Mexico     1908
The brother of Papa Tio. Lorenzo Tio  Sr. played in Mexico before moving to 
New Orleans, where he played an Eb  clarinet with the Excelsior band in the 
mid-1880s until 1892. He also organised  a dance band with Anthony Doublet 
(Doublais) that was active until about 1892.  In 1898 he joined the Oliver Scott 
Minstrels for a single season. Whilst in Iowa  it was reported in the August 20th 
Freeman that the Oliver Scott Famous  Orchestra made a number of recordings 
and Tio was mentioned as on "clarionet"  (sic) but none have survived. Tio 
taught many musicians up until the early  1900s. Tio travelled with a lot of shows 
including that of Billy Kersands.  Around 1900 he roomed with the family of 
the young Louis Nelson DeLisle in Bay  St. Louis, not far from New Orleans. In 
1906 he moved to Jackson, Mississippi  after which it appears he gave up 
active participation in music. See also the  entry for Manny Crusto. 
TIO, Luis "Papa"       Clarinet
1863:  Mexico      1927
A brother of Lorenzo Tio, Sr.,  both of whom were claimed as graduates of the 
Mexican Conservatory of Music.  They came to New Orleans about 1878 at which 
time it was once thought that none  of the Tios spoke English. Papa Tio made a 
nationwide tour with the Georgia  Minstrels2 in 1887, and was with the 
Excelsior Brass Band in the 1880s. He was  mainly a concert musician but turned to 
jazz after 1910, working in the District  with Manuel Manetta, and also with 
Peter Bocage, and Henry Peyton. He played in  dance bands too, both with Armand 
Piron and John Robichaux. He was remembered by  his contemporaries as playing 
a little lighter than his brother but both with a  beautiful tone.


More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list