The Next Hot New Orleans Trumpeter? The Search Is On

New Orleans, not surprisingly, has produced a long line of great jazz trumpeters, from Buddy Bolden, King Oliver and Louis Armstrong to Christian Scott and Shamarr Allen. Louis Prima is the subject of this year’s poster for Jazz Fest.

And, of course, there are also Terence Blanchard (probably my favorite living trumpeter; looking forward to his Jazz Fest appearance), Wynton Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Irvin Mayfield (ditto for his Jazz Fest show with the NOJO), Leroy Jones, Kermit Ruffins, Al Hirt and several other notables whose names will come to mind the second this post is published.

(Payton, right, plays tonight at the Village Vanguard in NYC; listen live here)

Young jazz trumpeters in New Orleans will get a chance to raise their game — and their profile — via “Seeking Satch,” a contest co-sponsored by the French Market and the Mayfield-directed New Orleans Jazz Institute at the University of New Orleans.

Three high-school trumpet players will get four-year scholarships to UNO’s jazz studies program, and a chance to perform this August at Satchmo Summerfest.

Trumpeters from two other age groups — 6th to 8th grade, and 9th to 11th grade — will gain admission to the year-round Saturday Music School organized by the New Orleans Jazz Institute.

That’s all according to a piece published today in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Official details are below:


WHAT: A trumpet competition that rewards high school seniors with University of New Orleans Jazz Studies scholarships, and sixth to 11th grade students with spots in the New Orleans Jazz Institute’s Saturday Music School. Outgoing seniors must submit a UNO college application and e-mail a link to a YouTube video of them performing their favorite Louis Armstrong song, plus a jazz tune of their choice, to Robin Williams at Younger student applicants must send an e-mail expressing their interest to Amy Kirk at

WHEN: The deadline for high school senior applications is March 18. Six finalists will be chosen to compete at French Quarter Festival April 10. The three winners will go on to perform at Satchmo Summer Fest in August. Deadline for the younger students to apply is May 3; their competition will be held May 22 at McDonogh 15.

The Sound of Building Coffins, by Louis Maistros

the-soundI recently finished reading, and reviewing, The Sound of Building Coffins, by Louis Maistros, a New Orleans record-store owner and first-time novelist.

Not sure what the general reaction will be, but I found the book to be one of the most fascinating that I’ve read in a long while. It’s a tale of turn-of-the-century New Orleans that has the author taking readers deep inside the heads of a cast of remarkable characters.

Its twisting, hypnotic story of voodoo and jazz — and birth, death and rebirth — is marked by some singularly strange passages.

But anyone who has spent much time in New Orleans, and has a feel for the musical and artistic creativity that seems to flow from that patch of Mississippi River-fed earth, will get the vibe, I think.

And even those who don’t know what I mean by all that may well be captured by Maistros’ vivid, gripping storytelling.

I’ll post a link to the review once it’s published.

For now, you can find out more about the novel by visiting the remarkable web site that Maistros (and/or his web designer) has created to accompany the book.

Just click on the ghost of Buddy Bolden, and you’re in.