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|The Barbarin Family
|It's impossible to write about one of the talented Barbarin family members
without writing about them all. The Barbarin name has been a mainstay on the
New Orleans music scene since the turn of the 20th century, when Isidore was
a well-known cornet and alto horn player with bands such as the Onward Brass
Band, Excelsior Brass Band and Papa Celestin's Tuxedo Brass Band.
Isidore's sons were all professional musicians of note, as well as other
family members who followed in his footsteps.
Son, Paul, was the most famous of Isidore's sons. He started playing drums
professionally as a teenager and played with some of the most famous bands
of the 1920's-'30s. Many regard him as one of the best of the pre-Big Band era
jazz drummers. He toured and played in New York and Chicago and elsewhere,
but he always returned home to New Orleans. By the 1940's, he worked almost
exclusively in his hometown, leading and marching in brass bands and playing
at Preservation Hall. He died while he was leading the Onward Brass Band in
a Mardi Gras parade in 1969.
Louis, Paul's younger brother, was, also, a drummer. He didn't travel as much
as Paul, spending most of his time playing in New Orleans. He might not have
achieved the fame of Paul Barbarin, but was much admired by his fellow
musicians. Later in his career, he did tour Europe with the New Orleans All-
Star Jazz Band. At home, he played with Armand J. Piron, Papa Celestin,
Papa French and at Preservation Hall, to name just a few. He retired in the
mid-1980s and passed away in 1997.
Two other sons, also, became professional musicians. Lucien Barbarin played
drums and William Barbarin played cornet. Isidore's grandson, Danny Barker,
was a talented musician, as well.
|Lucien Barbarin, g-nephew of Paul Barbarin, carries on the family tradition. He is
a well-known trombone player who has played with Wynton Marsalis, Dr. Michael
White and Lionel Hampton. He tours with Harry Connick, Jr. and with the
Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Lucien makes his home in New Orleans.
|Lucien Barbarin signs autographs at the Sydney
Opera House after appearing with Harry Connick, Jr.
|Left to right: Paul Barbain, drums; Arnold Metoyer, trumpet; Luis Russel, piano;
Willie Santiago, banjo; Albert Nicholas, saxophones & clarinet. Tom Anderson's
Cafe on Rampart Street, Storyville, 1919.
|Paul Barbarin, with the Louis Armstrong Orchestra, ca. 1930's.