The Original Hurricane Brass Band
The Original Hurricane Brass Band was initially founded in 1974 by New Orleans trumpet legend Leroy Jones. Back in the day, the band was formed around the core of the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band and included, in addition to Mr. Jones, among others the legendary tuba player Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, trumpeter Gregg Stafford, trombonist (then snare drummer) Lucien Barbarin, bass drummer Charles Barbarin, clarinetist Joseph Torregano, tenor saxophonist Henry Freeman, trombonist Michael Johnson, trumpeter Gregory "Blodie" Davis, trombonist Charles Joseph and sousaphonist Kirk Joseph.
In those days the Hurricane Brass Band was an undeniable force on the local brass band and Second Line scene and contributed greatly to what is nowadays known as contemporary New Orleans' brass band music. The Hurricane Brass Band was one of the first bands to incorporate more modern elements into its repertoire and today's most popular brass bands like the Hot 8 and ReBirth can be seen as its direct descendants. When Leroy Jones moved on to work as the leader of his own Quintet in the late seventies, some of the Hurricane Brass Band's musicians proceeded to form the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
In October 2005, upon returning to New Orleans from Dallas where he was evacuated for six weeks, Leroy Jones was called to do one of the first post-Katrina Second Lines. The band that played the event was then appropriately named the Hurricane Brass Band and played a successful Second Line through New Orleans' historic neighborhoods. Since then the band, with alternating line-ups, has been performing for various events like the French Quarter Festival and Satchmo Summerfest, funerals and private engagements. The present combos include some of New Orleans' finest traditional jazz musicians; among them have been trumpet players Leroy Jones, Gregg Stafford, William Smith and Raymond Williams, trombonists Freddie Lonzo, Ronell Johnson, Lucien Barbarin and Rick Trolsen, saxophonists Alonzo Bowens, Allen Dejan Jr. and Brent Rose, sousaphonists Rob Espino, Dimitri Smith and Jeffrey Hills, and drummers Gerald French, Brian Lewis, Katja Toivola and Burnell Brunious.