Freddie Lonzo

Trombone & Vocals

Nickname(s): The Voice, The 4th Tenor
Influences: Waldren “Frog” Joseph, Linda H. James, and Teddy Riley
Played with: Doc Paulin, Alvin Alcorn, Dr. Michael White, Wynton Marsalis, Bob French, The Olympia Brass Band, and Henry Butler
First Gig: “In my teens with E.G. Gabon and Doc Paulin’s Band for neighborhood parades.”
Memorable song request: “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones. That was a pretty strange request for a trombone player, but the fantastic thing is a good trombone player can play almost anything.”

Joe Lastie Jr.

Drums & Backing Vocals

Nickname(s): Fish, Lil’ Joe, 9th Ward Joe
Influences: “Both of my grandfathers. I watched them play drums in church. I still play in the same style they did, with their fingers. It’s like they were hardly playing.”
Played with: Tuxedo Jazz Band, Eddie Bo, Henry Butler, Dr. Michael White, Harry Connick, Jr.
First Gig: “Playing in the Rhythm section backing the Desire Community Choir in New Orleans.”
First song performed with PHJB: “Hindustan”
Favorite Sports Team: New Orleans Saints!

Clint Maedgen

Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone & Vocals

Influences: Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, The Velvet Undergound
Played with: New Orleans Bingo! Show, Liquidrone
First song performed with PHJB: “We did a few Kinks songs “Complicated Life” and “Skin and Bones.”
Favorite collaborations: “Every collaboration we’ve had has been magical. One of my favorites has to be Tom Waits. Del McCoury, Richie Havens, and Jim James really stand out too.”
How do you wind down after a performance? “Depends on the performance. Some performances I feel like I’m still winding down from and it’s been a couple of years. Some performances you forget you were ever there.”

Rickie Monie

Piano

Nickname(s): The Professor
Influences: Father, Oscar Peterson
Played with: Dave Bartholomew, Frogman Henry, Dr. Michael White, Greg Stafford, Topsy Chapman, The Olympia Brass Band
First tune ever performed at Preservation Hall: "Lord Lord Lord Sure Been So Good To Me” was the first tune I ever played at Preservation Hall. I was playing with the Olympia Brass Band, that’s the song they would always open their shows with."
Memorable song request: "The strangest song request that I’ve received at Preservation Hall was “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck."
Favorite collaborations:"My Morning Jacket and Del McCoury, I can say those are my two favorites."
Little Known Fact: Rickie’s first instrument was the clarinet.

Mark Braud

Trumpet & Backing Vocals

Influences: "Family was really instrumental in developing my sound, my uncles Wendel Brunious and John Brunious (both former trumpeters and leaders of PHJB)."
First memory performing at Preservation Hall:"I sat in when my uncle Wendell Brunious was leading the band. I remember sitting next to Waldren “Frog” Joseph and having conversations with him, which was really cool because he’s one of my musical heroes and probably my favorite New Orleans trombone player of all time."
Favorite collaborations: Blind Boys of Alabama, My Morning Jacket, and Del McCoury.
How do you wind down after a performance?" I like to do a three or four mile jog and go swimming for about eight miles, then I’m done. No I’m kidding, just relax, sit down, do some deep breathing. Play some low notes on the trumpet to cool the chops down."

Ronell Johnson

Tuba, Piano & Vocals

Influences: My brothers Steven “Cool Bone” Johnson (trombone), Earnest Johnson (trumpet), Darrell Johnson (saxophone). Freddie Lonzo, Louis Armstrong
Played with: Coolbone Brass Band, Olympia Brass Band, Lionel Ferbos, Wendell Brunious, Shannon Powell
First memory performing at Preservation Hall: "It was a Sunday night with the Olympia Brass Band, in 2003. I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure if I would knew all of the tunes. They hired me to play trombone that night. I remember I knew every song they called and it was so great. Every time I played I had music mutes and stuff on my trombone. The audience went wild and so did the band."
What does performing traditional New Orleans Jazz mean to you? "Traditional Jazz has always been my favorite type of music, specifically New Orleans Traditional Jazz. Coming up in school you’re learning a lot of modern jazz, but I was playing that in the New Orleans trad way. Gospel is very dear to me, but as Michael Kelly said, “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing."
Little Known Fact: Ronell’s great uncle was the great “Kid Twat” Butler who played with Kid Thomas, Sweet Emma, and a number of Preservation Hall bands.
Another Little Known Fact: In addition to the tuba, Ronell plays the trumpet, trombone, and the piano wonderfully.

Charlie Gabriel

Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone & Vocals

Influences:"My father, Martin Emmanuel Gabriel, he was a great influence and played all instruments. My great-grandfather, grandfather and dad were all musicians. My family came to New Orleans in 1842."
Played with: Aretha Franklin’s Orchestra, Nancy Wilson, Kid Howard, Jim Robinson, George Lewis, Tony Bennett
First gig with Preservation Hall Jazz Band: 2009
Memorable request:"One request happened when I was about 14 years old. A lady came to the bandstand and asked me if I knew “Five Minutes More”? I said, I didn’t. So she started singing me the tune. She finished and I said to my Dad, I don’t know how to play that. And WHAM he slapped me! My dad told her to said sing it again. She sang it and I played doo-doo-doo-doo-doo with the melody. I still remember that, it was unusual, but I got paid for it."
What hobbies interest you? "I like to play chess, so if I’m around people that play chess I will play a game. The most soothing thing to me is being totally still, but working my mind."

Ben Jaffe

Tuba, String Bass, Banjo, Percussion & Backing Vocals

Influences: "Walter Payton, to this day he’s somebody that not only had a huge influence on me, but also inspires me to be the best I can be everyday."
Memorable request: “In New Orleans it’s a tradition to play music at funerals. So we’ve been called to play funerals around the world. We got a call on behalf of a gentleman who passed away in Ireland and in his will he said he wanted Preservation Hall Jazz Band to come play his funeral and we did. We played a real New Orleans style jazz funeral in Ireland.”
How do you wind down after a performance?"One of my favorite things to do is ride my bike through the French Quarter. I’ve done it a thousand times, but it’s something I always look forward to. There’s a tree I always pass on Charter Street. It’s a Night Jasmine and twice a year it blooms and when it does it hits you. A wall of fragrance washes over you. Honestly, there is no greater sensation in the world than to be in the French Quarter in the moonlight, having just performed at Preservation Hall, headed home. It’s a great thing."