17 January 2016


What a picture! What a band! What an event!

Sadly for me, it was a jazz performance that took place 4500 miles from where I was in bed asleep at the time. I knew nothing about it until a friend who was there and took this photo kindly emailed it to me.

So what was going on? It was the very first performance of The EQP Jazz Band (but see below regarding the name of the band). It was given at The Dragon's Den in New Orleans - on 10 June 2016, I think.

I can imagine how thrilling the music must have been but I have no idea what tunes they played.

How different from the First Golden Age of our music in the 1920s, when there were female singers but not many instrumentalists. We are living during the Second Golden Age of Traditional Jazz - a time when many of the top 100 players in the world are ladies.

And in this band, you find SIX of them making up what may well be one of the greatest all-female bands ever.

Another interesting feature of this band is that Shaye Cohn is playing trombone - something I've never seen her do before. Is there nothing that young lady can't master? Even before this, she had become established as one of the finest trad jazz piano and cornet players of all time, as well as being very good on violin, string bass and accordion. The other ladies are of course Chloe Feoranzo, Marla Dixon, Dizzy, Julie Schexnayder, and Molly Chaffin Reeves - every one a heroine of our musical times.

Since writing the above, I received a little further information from my friend James Sterling who was having a few days in New Orleans:

Just talked to Shaye. She said the all-ladies group was formed recently because she had been requested to bring an all-ladies jazz group to music camp for girls. This concert was a warm-up. I mentioned the the name, Equal Pay Band, and she laughed. Said 'somebody was messing with us about the name'.  No official name yet. Chloe had it listed on her Web page as "Shaye and Co.". I told Shaye I didn't know about it till too late.  She said not many people did because of short notice.  Wasn't even on Dragon's Den calendar. 

But EQP Jazz Band? (EQual Pay - and why not?)

But Shaye eventually settled on the name The Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band.

And I have now heard from correspondent Michael Brooks that the Band will be closing the season at The Abita Springs Opry on 19 November 2016. Wish I could be there. But we can hope for a video!