You can watch a very happy video of the band - with excellent sound and picture quality (though without a reed player on the occasion) by clicking here. When I spent a few days visiting New Orleans in April 2016, one of the local musicians gave me the tip that I ought to seek out The Gentilly Stompers. I had not previously heard of them.
|The Gentilly Stompers at Bamboula's|
Catie told me she is 'going for clarity and soul'. One of her main influences is the cornet player Connie Jones, who recently retired. She told me 'His lines and feeling really can't be beat'. She said her policy has been to recruit musicians who are sharp, sensitive listeners and really good, fun people. 'I believe that creates an inviting dynamic, and a positive environment to hang in. I'm always looking for more inspiration, whether it be recordings, old or new, or in my fellow peers as we grow and change together'.
Her core players at July 2016 were: Haruka Kikuchi (trombone), Chloe Feoranzo (reeds), Alex Belhaj (guitar), Miles Lyons (tuba) and Sean Clark (drums).
But how did Catie come to be leader of a band called The Gentilly Stompers?
Some months later, Catie decided to head to Kansas City to pursue yet higher classical trumpet music studies at the University of Missouri. Though she was missed in New Orleans, I am sure we all wished her well. The good news is that she was back in New Orleans at the end of December 2016, leading The Gentilly Stompers in some gigs, no doubt during her vacation. Here she is, on December 29th, 2016, at Buff'a's, leading the band through Milneberg Joys:
Even later news is that Catie returned 'permanently' to New Orleans in March 2017. I hope she will keep the band going.
The book Enjoying Traditional Jazz by Pops Coffee is available from Amazon.