141 – Gerald French: His Chapter in a New Orleans Family Legacy
Gerald French was born and raised in New Orleans in one of the city’s most prominent musical families. Over his career, he has played with most of New Orleans musical royalty, including Harry Connick Jr., Charmagne Neville, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Dr. John. In 2014, he became the leader of the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band. He is only the fifth person to lead the group in its 107-year history, and the third member of his family to do so, preceded by his uncle Bob French and his grandfather Albert “Papa” French.
In this podcast Gerald talks about:
His annual tours of Japan with Tom Fischer and the New Orleans All-Stars
Succeeding his uncle and grandfather as the leader of The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, and the long history of that group
Drumming and singing
Transitioning from sideman to leader
“Being a soldier”, not a star, in the music industry
His work as an educator with the Traditional New Orleans Jazz Camp
Teaching young musicians how to properly play traditional New Orleans music, and preventing that tradition from being lost or diluted
How New Orleans musicians have historically
His experience during and after Hurricane Katrina
His involvement in the Wild Magnolias Mardis Gras Indians
Gerald French endorses Taye Drums, Sabian Cymbals, and Innovative Percussion Sticks
This episode is sponsored by Crush Drums.