Tuxedo Brass Band

The original Tuxedo Brass Band performed from about 1917 8-28 until 1938.
The Young Tuxedo Brass Band functioning from 1938 until today.
The band was the house band and named after de Tuxedo Dance Hall (North Franklin Street) in New Orleans. In 1913 the dance hall closed after a gunfight, killing the owner of the hall Billy Phillips.

The Original Tuxedo Brass Band played in uniforms resembling those of the Prussin military. 8,p175

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

Cornet/trumpet Oscar “Papa” Celestin (from the start – 1925), Sidney Desvigne (from the start), Hypolite Charles (from the start), Willie Edwards (regular in the early days), Willie Pajeaud (1919 – ), Amos White (1919 – ), Peter Bocage (1918/19 – early 1920s),  Manuel Perez, Mutt Carey, Louis Dumaine (sometime before 1925 – ), Alcide Al “Big” Landry, Charlie Love (early 1920s – ), Joe Howard, Louis Armstrong (1921 – 1922 he replaced Desvigne) 8-28, DeeDee Pierce, Maurice Durand (1925 – ), Louis “Kid Shots” Madison (about 1922 – ), George McCullum jr (early 1930s – )Wallace Davenport (1938 – ), Ricard Alexis (from the start), Buddy Petit ( – ), Mutt Carey ( – ), Lee Collins16,p29 ( – ), Arnold Metoyer, Louuis Armstrong (Aug 1921 – )
Trombone William Bebé Ridgley (co-founder)8,p103, Charles “Sunny” Henry (from the start – 1935), August Rousseau or Roussel (replaced Ridgley), Harrison BarnesAlbert ” Loochie” Jackson (1920 – ), Buddy Johnson, Arthur “Yank” Johnson, Hamilton “Hamp” Benson, Eddie Atkins (late 1916/1917 – ), Jim RobinsonRoy Palmer, Eddie Pierson
Clarinet Lorenzo Tio jr. (Eb)(from the start) 8,p174/175, Luis Tio (late 1880s – ) 8,p175, Joseph “Joe” Watson (Eb) ( – 1925? when he died), John Casimir (Eb) (1925? – he replaced Watson), Johnny Dodds, Alphonse Picoui1 –  8,p29, Sam Dutrey sr., Lorenzo Tio sr.Jimmie Noone, Paul Barnes (1920 – 1927)16
Bariton horn George Hooker (from the start), Adolphe “Tats”Alexander jr. (1920s ), John Porter (replaced at some stage Alexander), George Sims
Alto horn Isidore Barbarin (from the start), Louis Keppard
Bass horn Joe Howard (from the start)
Tuba Eddie Jackson (from the start – 1938), Sidney “Little Jim” Brown
Snare drum Henry Zeno (from the start – 1917), Abby “Chinee” Foster (replaced Zeno after his dead in 1917 – 1922), Alfred WilliamsChristopher “Black Happy” Goldston (1922 – replaced Foster), (Ramos) Remus “Brown Happy” Mathews (late 1920s/early 1930s – ), Henry Martin, Zutty Singleton (191616 – ), Louis Cottrell sr.Bat Moseley (late 1920s/early 1930s – ), Shanon Powel
Bass drum Ernest Trepagnier (from the start – 192816), “Black Benny” Williams (occasionally replacing Trapagnier in the early 1920s -), Jim Mukes (1921/1922 replaced Trapagnier – ), Edgar Moseley (late 1920s/early 1930s – ).
Leader Oscar “Papa” Celestin (former – 1925) and William Bebé Ridgley co former 8,p28, Amos White (when Celestin couldn’t make the job), Louis Dumaine (1925 – late 1920s musical), Eddie Jackson (late 1920s – 1938 manager)

Manuel Manetta has played with them, but on which instrument?

The Tuxedo Brass Band dominated the brass band scene in New Orleans from about the end of WW I. They mixed the music of the early heavy music (arranged marches and played as written dirges) and more improvised music, played by ear.

The Tuxedo Brass Band started playing popular tunes on the street. According to Louis Dumaine the Tuxedo was the first band on the street to play “sacred songs”.

Alphonse Picou´s piccolo solo on “High Society” was first devised while with the Tuxedo Brass Band and is possibly based a bit on a George Baquet idea.1

William “Bebé” Ridgley said
the Tuxedo Brass Band started in this year, at the time Manuel Perez  temporarily disbanded the Onward. They (Celestin and Ridgley) hired a number of musicians from the Onward.

William Ridgley said the Tuxedo played on Henry Zeno’s funeral.


Courtesy of Harrison Barnes

The Tuxedo Brass Band playing for a Masonic Lodge cornerstone laying, about 1919

1921: Autumn
Louis Armstrong played as a member of the Tuxedo, 8,p29

1922, August 8:i2
laying with the Tuxedo Brass Band at a funeral in New Orleans, Louis Armstrong got Joe Oliver’s telegram. He had a little band at the Lincoln Gardens, and he told him to come at once.


The band played at the funeral of Dave Perkins.

Young Tuxeo Brass Band

Performed from 1938 until know.
John Casimir started his brass band, under the name Young Tuxedo Brass Band, after he left the W.P.A. Band in about 1938.

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

Cornet/trumpet Alcide Al “Big” Landry (1938 – ), Wallace Davenport (1938 – ), Dude Lewis, Alvin Alcorn, Avery “KidHoward, Louis “Kid Shots” Madison, Edgar “Sambo” Joseph, DeeDee Pierce (mid 1940s – ), Vernon Gilbert (1950s), John Brunies, Andrew (Andy or Jug) Anderson (1950s/1960s), Percy Humphrey, Elmer “Coo Coo” Talbert, Albert Walters (1950s-1960s), Thomas Jefferson (1950s), Reginald Koeller (1950s), John Brunious sr (1950s), Edgar “Sambo” Joseph (1950s), Kid Thomas ( – 1953), Jack Willis, Clive Wilson (1966 – ), Gregg Stafford (1972 – ), Leroy Jones,
Trombone Joe “Kid” Avery (1938 – 1955), Albert “Loochie Jackson (1938 – 1953), Bob Thomas (1938 – ), Charles “Sunny” Henry, Albert Warner ( – 1937), Earl Humphrey (1937 – replaced Warner after he     died), Clement Tervalon, Wendell Eugene, Clement Tervalon (mid 1950s – ), Eddie Pierson (mid 1950s – ), Jim Robinson (mid 1950s – )7,p64, Bill Mathews (late 1950s – 1960s), Louis Nelson (1960s – ),   Frank Naundorf, Maynard Chatters, Freddie Lonzo, Eddie Summers
Clarinet John Casimir (Eb 1938 – 1963), Albert Burbank, Steve Angrum16 (1940’s/1950’s), Lars Edegran (1966 – ), Willie James Humphrey 16, Joseph “Joe” Torregano (1972 – under Sherman and Stafford), Michael White
Alto sax Adolphe Alexander jr., Wilbert Tillman (1938 – 1964), Eddie “Big head” Johnson (1945/46 – ), Manny Gabriel ( – ), John Handy (mid 1950s – )7,p69, Herman Sherman (mid 1950s – ), Harold Dejan (1960s), Darryl Adams,
Tenor sax Adolphe Alexander jr., Harold Christophe, Andrew Morgan (mid 1950s – ), Jessie Charles (mid 1950s – ), Emanuel Paul (1960s)
Alto horn Flowers, Louis Keppard
Bariton horn Peter White
Tuba Henry Page (1938 – ), Eddie Jackson, Wilbert Tillman (1938 – 1964 started on alto sax), Jerome “Jerry” Gerold Green Sr, Woody Penouilh
Snare drum August “Shot” Cato (1938 – ), Ernest Rogers (1945/46 after Tulane BB disbanded – mid 1950s), Remus “Brown Happy” Mathews ( – 1953), Alfred Williams (mid 1950s, regular from 1958 – ), Rudolph “Big Rudolph” Beaulieu (mid 1950s – ), Lawrence Trotter (1966 – ), Freddie Kohlman ( – )
Bass drum “Little” Jim Mukes (1938 – mid 1920s) – Emile Knox (1945 – ), Robert “Son Fewclothes” Lewis (1962), Henry “Booker T” Glass (1962), Frank Oxley,
Drums Ernest Rogers (1945/56 – ), Edmund Washington, Josiah “Cie” Frazier (1923)16, Paul Barbarin
Leader John  Casimir (1938-1963) – Wilbert Tillman (1963 after Casimir’s died – 1966) – Andrew Morgan (1966 – ) – (Herman Sherman ( leader on record date in 1983) – Gregg Stafford (? – now)
Grand Marshall Anderson Minor, Ernest Skipper

Bob Thomas (tb), John Casimir (cl), “Big Head” Eddie Johnson (as), Happy Goldston (bsdm)

John Casimir (cl), Joe Avery (tb), Harold Christophe (ts), Albert “Loochie” Jackson (tb), Wilbert Tillman (sous), Ernest Rogers (sndm), Reginald Koeller (tp), Albert Walters (tp).

1953: appeared in a mock funeral sequence in the film “Cinerama Holiday” (They played Abide with me and When the saints go marching in)
Percy Humphrey (tp), John Casimir (cl), Ernest Rogers (sndm)

1954: Funeral of Papa Celestin

1957: (Labor day parade):
Rudolph Beaulieu (sndm), Vernon Gilbert (tp), John Handy (as), John Casimir (cl), Eddie Pierson (tb), Wilbert Tillman (sous), Jim Robinson (tb).

1958, October 31 and November 2: the band recorded for Atlantic records
John Casimir (Ebcl), Andrew Anderson (tp), John “Pickey” Burnious (tp), Albert “Fernandez” Walters (tp), Clement Tervalon (tb), Eddie Pierson (tb), Jim Robinson (tb), Hermen Sherman (as), Andrew Morgan (ts), Wilbert Tillman (sous), Emile Knox (bsdm), Paul Barbarin (sndm).

Wendell Brunious remembered this recording session:
One of my first memories of hearing music live was when my dad recorded with the Tuxedo Brass Band in our
backyard around 1958. I was four years old. I still remember the band and all the people walking up and down our driveway. Each time John Casimer, the clarinet player, would take a step he’d make a note. It was really a great day of New Orleans Brass Band music.. It was so exciting, so authentically New Orleans music – music that made you happy – a bass drum hitting a beat … ‘boom, boom, boom, ba-boomboomBOOM!’ It meant something was going to happen and it did! The trombone players, by being three, were playing nice three part harmony. And the trumpets… as one guy would solo, the other two would play a little background to help him out and encourage him to play better. And the E-flat clarinet was always hitting high, ‘shrilly’ notes. The tuba was playing the low notes, which is his job.




Young Tuxedo Brass Band (1959) – Clem Tervalon – Wilbert Tillman – Alfred Williams – Edgar ‘Sambo’ Joseph – Harold Dejan – Andy Anderson – Andrew Morgan (Courtesy of Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane University)


A parade with the Young Tuxedo Brass Band in Algiers. (Photo by Ralston Crawford. Courtesy William Ransom Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz, Tulane University.)

1960, February and March:
Three session were made, but remain unissued.
Alfred Williams (sndm) played all these sessions.

1961, February: Funeral Alphonse Picou
Wilbert Tillman (sous), John Casimir (Ebcl), Andy Anderson (tp), Jack Willis (tp),

Bill Mathews (tb), Andrew Morgan (ts), Louis Nelson (tb), Andy Anderson (tp), Wilbert Tillman (sous), John Handy (as), Henry “Booker T” Glass (bsdm), Jack Willis (tp).

1962, September 8: (a photo taken by Jim Holmes)
Playing a parade with Ernie Cagnolatti (tp), John Casimir (cl), Bill Mathews (tb), Alfred Williams (sndm), Henry “Booker T” Glass (bsdm), Wilbert Tillman (sous).

1962, September 22: parading at La Salle and Washington 8.30 AM
Jack Willis, Andy Anderson (tp), John Casimir (Eb cl), Andrew Morgan (ts), John Handy (as), Bill Mathews, Louis Nelson (tb), Wilbert Tillman (sous), Henry “Booker T” Glass (bsdm), Alfred Williams (sndm)

1962, September 22: a French Quarter Parade at 1.30 PM
Jack Willis, Andy Anderson and Kid Thomas (tp), John Casimir (Eb cl), Andrew Morgan (ts), John Handy (as), Bill Mathews, Louis Nelson (tb), Wilbert Tillman (sous), Henry “Booker T” Glass (bsdm), Alfred Williams (sndm)

Leon “Nooney-Boy” Shelly’s Jazz Funeral, he was a member of one of the many second-line and social clubs of New Orleans

De De Pierce (trp) died on November 26. At his funeral the Young Tuxedo Brass Band played together with the Olympia and the Eureka Brassband.

1983, August 13: record by 504 records
Herman Sherman (as), Michael White (cl), Joseph Torregano (ts), Joshua “Little Jack” Willis (cnt-mellophone), John “Kid” Simmons (tp), Gregory Stafford (cnt), Lester Caliste jr (tb), Clement Tervalon (tb), Walter Payton jr (sous), Lawrence Trotter (sndm), Charles Barbarin (bsdm)

2001, July 13: Photos from Ernie K-Doe’s Second Line after his funeral.
e Young Tuxedo Brass Band leads the procession past the old Krauss department store on Canal Street.

Grand Marshal Ernest Skipper leads Gregg Stafford’s Young Tuxedo Brass Band from Gallier Hall

Armand Sheik Richardson (trp); Gregg Stafford (trp)

One of two brass bands who played in K-Doe’s jazz funeral, the Tuxedo Brass Band marched ahead of the hearse, leading the procession with more traditional tunes.

2005: Jazz Funeral

A Jazz funeral, starting in Algiers, then coming across the bridge to the French Quarter. The Tuxedo Brass Band was the band. The funeral was a signal to the people and the world that New Orleans was open for business again, after the catastrophe of hurricane Katrina.

Gregg Stafford (tp and leader), Leroy Jones (tp), Joe Torregano (cl), Michael White (cl), Freddie Lonzo (tb), Woody Penouilh (tuba), Shannon Powell (sn dm), Frank Oxley (bas dm), Grand marshalls of the Black Men of Labor and Jolly Bunch.

Young Tuxedo Drummer & Big Chief Tootie Montana († 2005)

Maynard Chatters (trb),Scotty Hill (trb), Grand Marshall Oliver Pork Chop Anderson, and Edward Paris (trb). A very rare shot of Teddy Riley on sousaphone, Charles Barbarin on bass drum. (Thanks to mr. Gregg Stafford).

CD’s of this brassband: Brassband history on CD

Sources books:
8 Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans by Thomas Brothers
New Orleans Jazz, family album by Al Rose and Edmond Souchon

Sources (internet):
i2 http://web.telia.com/~u41602980/biosa-c.htm
i3 http://kdoe.com/g/Mvc-291s_young_tuxedo+large.jpg