Olympia Brass Band

The Olympia Brass Band performed on and off from 1900 to 1915i1

From this musicians it’s known that they played in the Brass Band:

Cornet/trumpet Freddie Keppard (1e cnt), Joe “King” Oliver (2e cnt), Bunk Johnsoni2, Louis Armstrong
Trombone Zue Robertson, Eddie Atkins
Clarinet Alphonse Picou (Original member 10), “Big eye” Louis Nelson DesLile, Sidney Bechet, Lorenzo Tio jr.
Bariton horn
Alto horn
Snare drum “Ratty” “Old man” John Vean (Original member 10),
Bass drum
Leader Freddie Keppard

The Olympia Brass Band existed on and off from 1900 to 1915 led by cornetist Freddie Keppard, with Joe Oliver playing second cornet and Alphonse Picou, Sidney Bechet, and Lorenzo Tio on clarinets. Oscar “Papa” Celestin formed the Original Tuxedo Orchestra in 1910. Keppard later led the Original Creole Band, while Joe Oliver worked for trombonist Kid Ory in his Brownskin Band. When Oliver left for Chicago, as Keppard had done, Louis Armstrong replaced him on cornet, There were probably a hundred of these seminal groups, and their players seemed infinitely interchangeable. All of them understood the basic premise of the music: collective improvisation.i3

Around the turn of the century, when the great Buddy Bolden was the king of New Orleans jazz, the legendary musician played his cornet all over town: Rampart and Perdido streets, Uptown, the lakefront and across the river. i4

Dejan’s Olympia Brass Band
Dejan’s Olympia Brass Band performed from about 1960 until –

Author Mick Burns wrote in 2001 a book about Harold Dejan´s brass band called “the great Olympia Band”.

1966, April 2:
Olympia brass band played at the funeral of Avery Kid Howard.
(Notes from a diary by Jim Finch (See New Orleans Music Vol 15 no 6)




Dalhem – Berlin

The Olympia Brass Band-one of New Orleans’ last and greatest old-time street bands, leads a parade through the streets of the “French Quarter of Dahlem” in Berlin (Germany)



The Olympia Brass Band entertains the fans and the team (of the New Orleans Hornets) before their first-ever home game.  (Municipal Auditorium, 1974)



Mr. Ernest “Doc” Watson playing his tenor sax in 2004



CD’s of this brassband: Brassband history on CD

Sources books:
10 Jazzmen by
Frederick Ramsey jr Charles Edward Smith
13 The Great Olympia Band by Mick Burns

Sources (internet):
i1 http://www.stphilipneri.org/teacher/pontchartrain/section.php?id=144
i2 http://www.angelfire.com/music2/thecornetcompendium/well-known_soloists_6.html
i3 http://www.neworleansonline.com/music/bolden.shtml
i4 Source: Gambit Weekly-Blake Pontchartrain.
Gambit weekly