Bob French News

Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis lead tribute to the late Bob French

Publication: The Times-Picayune
Author: Keith Spera
Date: December 5, 2012

Among other, sometimes less flattering designations, Bob French was considered the unofficial mayor of the Musicians’ Village. In November, he also became the first of its residents to die.

On the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 4, Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis and their manager, Ann Marie Wilkins, the trio who championed the construction of the Musicians’ Village after Hurricane Katrina, hosted a private memorial concert for French, the longtime leader and drummer of the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band and an especially colorful WWOZ-FM deejay.

Over the decades, French mentored scores of young musicians, including Connick and Marsalis. After their success and fame had far surpassed that of their mentor, they returned the favor. Read more »

Bob French 1938 - 2012

Iconic New Orleans drummer and Marsalis Music Honors Series musician Bob French passed away on Monday, November 12. Some words from Branford Marsalis about Mr. French:

 “Bob was an amazing musician, with very strong opinions. When it comes to music, he was always more right than he was wrong; and because I had the mentality that focused on the message, regardless of the delivery, I am a better musician because of him. I will miss the man, and the musician greatly.”

Submitted by Courtney on November 14th, 2012 — 11:01am

Bob French, longtime Original Tuxedo Jazz Band leader and WWOZ deejay, has died

Publication: The Times-Picayune
Author: Keith Spera
Date: November 12, 2012

Robert “Bob” French Sr., the longtime leader and drummer of the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band and an outspoken, at times controversial, WWOZ-FM deejay, died on Monday, Nov. 12, after a long illness. He was 74.

Mr. French last performed with the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band in the summer of 2011. Afflicted with dementia and suffering from diabetes-related complications, he then moved into an assisted-living facility.
Mr. French grew up immersed in the traditional sounds of New Orleans. His father, banjo player Albert “Papa” French, took over the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band in the 1950s after the death of Oscar “Papa” Celestin, who founded the group in 1910.

As a young man, Mr. French rejected his father’s music in favor of rhythm and blues. His first gig in 1954 included Art and Charles Neville and piano wizard James Booker. One day, Papa French recruited his son to fill in for the Original Tuxedo’s ailing drummer. Bob French was so mortified by his sloppy performance that he committed himself to a proper study of traditional New Orleans jazz.

Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on November 13th, 2012 — 08:12am

Duke Ellington Jazz Festival: Jazz on the National Mall

Date: 06.14.2009
Publication: Washington City Paper
Author: Michael J. West Read more »

Submitted by Ben on June 13th, 2009 — 11:00pm

Duke Ellington Jazz Festival: Jazz on the National Mall

Date: 05.26.2009
Publication: The Louisianna Weekly
Author: Geraldine Wyckoff Read more »

Submitted by Ben on May 25th, 2009 — 11:00pm