Camelia Brass Band

(D’Jalma Garnier Brass Band)

The Camelia brass band performed from 1917/18 untill about 1935
According to Israel Gorman, the name came from the lake steamer the S.S. Camelia. Was it the New Camelia and was it related to the storm of 10/1/1893 (search for Camelia)?

These musicians were regulars in the Camelia Brass Band (a ten piece band):

Cornet/trumpet Wooden Joe Nicholas (from the start), Buddy Petit (from the start 2e cnt), D’Jalma “Albert” Garnier, Bob Anthony (under Garnier’s leadership), Ike RobinsonErnie Cagnolatti, Lawrence Toca, DeeDee Pierce (under Garnier’s leadership late 1920s)
Trombone Albert Warner, Joseph “Joe” Petit (under Nicholas and Garnier’s leadership), Eddie MorrisIsiah “Big Ike” Robinson (ca 1920), Ambrose Powers, Archie Robinson (under Garnier’s leadership), Eddie Summers
Clarinet Israel Gorman (1917 – 192216), Alphonse Picou, Johnny BrownGeorge Stewart, “Big Eye” Louis Nelson (under Garnier’s leadership), Albert Burbank, Wilbert Tillman (under Garnier’s leadership during the 1920s)
Bariton horn Bucko Gramma (under Garnier’s leadership)
Alto horn Louis Keppard
Alto sax René Mercadel (under Garnier’s leadership), Wilbert Tillman (under Garnier’s leadership)
Bass horn Buddy Luck
Tuba George Foy (under Garnier’s leadership), Bucko Gramma (under Garnier’s leadership)
Snare drum Edward Gaspard, Arthur Ogle (under Wooden Joe)Albert Francis (under Garnier’s leadership)
Bass drum “Black Benny” Williams, Henry “Booker T” Glass (under Garnier’s leadership), Emile Knox (under Garnier’s leadership, during the 1920s)
Leader Wooden Joe Nicholas (1917/18), D’Jalma Garnier

The Camelia Brass Band seems to have been a Carnival Day fixture with the Jefferson City Buzzards, a white uptown carnival club.

Most history books use the spelling “Ganier” but in fact (confirmed to us by the family) it was really Garnier. During the Depression there were pictures taken of the entire ERA and WPA bands in which he is identified as “Albert Ganier” but I expect the Albert part was a nickname because his colleagues couldn’t get their chops around D’Jalma! On June 8, 2004, Brian Wood sent us this information

In our guestbook Rusty Burns wrote:
I feel the band was related to the steamer “New Camelia”. There are many references to speak of the great music on this vessel. Please check out my link to.

Sources books:
New Orleans Jazz, family album by Al Rose and Edmond Souchon

Sources internet: