What a treat to photograph the festivities surrounding the film screening of ‘A Man and His Trumpet’, a documentary about one of the best trumpeter’s to ever come out of New Orleans, Leroy Jones. Filmmaker and musician Cameron Washington presented his film in the Western Addition. After the showing, over a dozen brass band musicians coalesced outside the venue and did a musical procession through the city streets to the party site in Hayes Valley. It was lovely to witness a piece of New Orleans culture on the streets of San Francisco. Numerous San Franciscans came out of their homes to see what the commotion was about and many passerby organically joined in on the parade; of course they all had smiles on.
Leroy Jones was the leader of the Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band, which eventually turned into the Hurricane Brass Band, which was extremely influential to later generation New Orleans brass bands, including the Rebirth Brass Band. Through the documentary I found out that he opened and played with Harry Connick, Jr. for many years, which for me was amazing, since as an extremely little shit Connick’s album ‘Blue Light, Red Light’ was the first jazz album I ever had and listened to constantly. Leroy was lead Trumpet on that album, and can still hear those powerful, yet smooth musical phrases he blessed us with in my mind. Thought it too dorky to mention when I had the opportunity to chat with him, but talked to him about how my first Second Line had me smiling and crying at the same time, and he expressed that he was happy that I got to experience that. On a later convo with him and Cameron, Leroy thought the party seemed like a Spike Lee film, but I added I thought it was more like a David Lynch film, but positive and upbeat. We had a good laugh. There were a lot of colorful and eclectic characters at this party ya’ll!
Leroy plays all over the world, and you can find him playing in New Orleans at many different venues, including regularly with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Preservation Hall. He is the coolest and sweetest. Check this national treasure out!!