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Some of you might have known that my father was a Dixieland jazz pianist. Could have been one of the greatest all time, but he threw it all away for a career in medicine... But of course he always had a band on the side and for many, many years his Dixieland band played Mardi Gras at the Ramshead in Annapolis, Maryland. He passed March of last year, just shy of his 90th birthday. Though Alzheimer's took its toll, he never lost his humanity or his sense of humor. This year for Mardi Gras, in his memory, I've arranged for a reunion of his Dixieland band, along with a performance by the Naptown Brass Band (a group I joined about a year ago). My father was a caring physician, a talented musician and most importantly, a kind man who touched the lives of many. The greatest man I ever knew.

https://www.ramsheadonstage.com/event/1815606-mardi-gras-night-annapolis
 

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My condolences. It seems that more and more trad jazz players and fans have departed this world without adequate replacements to keep the music alive and vibrant. I wish I could attend. "Hello Central, give me Doctor Jazz . . ." shouted Jelly Roll Morton with his Red Hot Peppers. I'm sure your Dad played that one many times. DAVE
 

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"Hello Central, give me Doctor Jazz . . ."
Thanks Dave. That was his theme song, though the fellas used to kid him and tell him it was really about a drug dealer. I have a really good recording of him singing it. Good because the engineer and I spent hours in the studio making it listenable. When he heard the finished product he proudly declared, "wow, I'm a great singer!" We had to stop doing it live though, as he would habitually forget the lyrics. Perhaps a harbinger of the oncoming disability that would rob him of his memories. But one night, some years ago, I convinced him to let me sing it to him for a show we did on Father's Day. I thought perhaps he might have let me continue doing it from then on, but it was the last time we ever played it, as he would instead insist on singing it if we did. I recited the lyrics at the end of his eulogy, and somehow made it through.

He is, was and always will be Dr. Jazz.
 

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A great memory, for sure. He must have truly been a Doctor of jazz.

Do you know (or know of) Dr. Eli Newberger who played tuba for years with the New Black Eagle Jazz Band out of Boston? He was/is a noted pediatric surgeon as well as a tuba virtuoso. I also recall that the guy who leads The Hot Antic Jazz Band from Nimes, France, Michael Bastide, is a physician. Music is a wonderful antidote for the daily travails we face.

A shtick I always liked was me singing the verse for DR. JAZZ, then throwing it to another vocalist in the band (not that I was a "vocalist" but I sang a few things) because the lyrics led to such a switch-off. That is a jazz classic for sure. Of COURSE your Dad sang it. DAVE
 

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Do you know (or know of) Dr. Eli Newberger who played tuba for years with the New Black Eagle Jazz Band out of Boston? He was/is a noted pediatric surgeon as well as a tuba virtuoso. I also recall that the guy who leads The Hot Antic Jazz Band from Nimes, France, Michael Bastide, is a physician. Music is a wonderful antidote for the daily travails we face.
Not familiar with those guys, but when my father got out of the Navy and established his medical practice, his first Dixieland band was comprised of doctors and lawyers. They were called The Bars & Tonics. When I was very young, I told my father I wanted to be a doctor. He was so proud. Then he asked me why. So I could play in your band, I told him. Funny though, that I turned out to be a lawyer. I could still join the band.
 

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Got the lineup set for the reunion band. Over the years there's been quite a few guys who've played with my father's group and this will be a sort of all-star ensemble. Taking over on piano will be Dick Glass, who was always our utility infielder; playing trumpet, banjo, piano or bass as needed. He is absolutely amazing in that he can comp on piano with his left hand and improvise a solo on flugelhorn with his right hand, all at the same time! On clarinet will be mainstay Henning Hoehne, who goes back all the way to the days of the Bars & Tonics, and was also an original member of the famed Navy group The Crabtowne Stompers. Just these two guys are worth the price of admission, and we've got a whole group of pros around them.

The second half of the show is going to feature the Naptown Brass Band. This group has really taken off over the last year and we're going to start the show with a core group of players and expand as the night progresses until we're all up on stage. This band is all about FUN. Fun arrangements. Fun tunes. And Fun Times!

Ya gotta come join us if you're anywhere near Annapolis Maryland for Mardi Gras.


Tickets: https://www.ramsheadonstage.com/event/1815606-mardi-gras-night-annapolis/
 

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