For over eighteen years The New Orleans Jazz Vipers have been an institution of Swing music on Frenchmen Street, the jazz mecca of New Orleans. The Jazz Vipers have been regarded by many as pioneers of the “Frenchmen Street Swing Renaissance.” With infectious rhythm, spirited horns, and a diverse line-up of vocals, they are all that is swing and all that is New Orleans. The Vipers will bringing all that energy to Sarasota when they perform at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center on Friday, October 19 at 8pm. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show. Advance tickets are available at www.wslr.org or by calling 1-800-838-3006.
Among other weekly shows, The Jazz Vipers have performed their weekly gig at The Spotted Cat Music Club since the infancy of New Orleans’ vibrant Frenchman street music scene. They have been featured on the HBO show Treme playing their original tune “I Hope You’re Coming Back to New Orleans” and their most recent album “Live and Viperizin'” has been selling rapidly both nationally and internationally.
In 2001 The Jazz Vipers became the first jazz band to play at the now world-renowned Spotted Cat Music Club on Frenchmen Street. In that same year they won Offbeat Magazine’s Best of the Beat Award for “Best Emerging Traditional Jazz Band”. The following year they recorded their first album, The New Orleans Jazz Vipers. As their momentum kept building, so did their regular crowd of local swing dancers. “We’ve always been a dance band,” says Joe Braun. In 2004 they recorded their sophomore album, Live on Frenchmen Street, and received Offbeat Magazine’s Best of the Beat Award for Best Traditional Jazz Album. The next year they won The Gambit’s Big Easy Award for Best Traditional Jazz Group.
The Jazz Vipers’ current lineup includes some of the city’s best traditional jazz talent, with Joe Braun (alto sax/vocals) at the helm: Craig Klein (trombone/vocals), Earl Bonie (tenor sax/clarinet), Steve Detory (piano/vocals), Molly Reeves (guitar/vocals), and Mitchell Player(bass/vocals).
Photo courtesy of Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center