The New Orleans Days Jazz Band is rapidly becoming a fixture at various restaurants and watering holes around Ottawa, Canada. Formed in 1996, the group indulges their collective passion for the music of New Orleans in the first half of the 20th century. "Just Sittin' Around" is the band's debut CD and sells very well at performances. You may also order by email from banjoist/ leader Arthur Grainge. The CD features 13 tunes of generous length including Shine, Drop That Sack, La Harpe Street Blues, Beg Your Pardon and Doctor Jazz. The set also includes "The World's Jazz Crazy And Lawdy So Am I" which was written by Chris Smith, one of the early Afro-American composers, in 1913. The tune is better known as Ballin' the Jack.
Clarinetist, Gerry Helke, is well known in Canadian jazz circles as a multi-instrumentalist capable of playing most instruments in an orchestra. He usually sticks with bass and piano but switches here to his first love, the licorice stick.
Trumpeter, Derek Robertson, is British born and played widely in England and Scotland before moving to Canada. His own band is one of the busiest in Ottawa and is apt to be heard anywhere. Derek will blow his horn from atop a flagpole if the gig pays well.
Trombonist, Dave Reilly, travels more than 100 miles to join the group. Dave lives in Montreal and is a veteran of The Mountain City Jazz Band, the Al Peters Jazzband and leader of The Jazz Knights. He's a strong tailgate style player and turns on the power if things get too quiet.
Bassist, Neil Sealy, is a native of Barbados and a veteran of the Vern Isaac Big Band. He supplies a powerful, solid beat for the sextet.
Drummer, David Ayton, is also a versatile reed player and worked with a number of jazz bands in his native England. His drumming is pure New Orleans revival and he kick the band along in fine style. Just beautiful bass drum work!
The leader, Arthur Grainge, has been one of Ottawa's most generous supporters of jazz for many years. Long a member of the audience, Arthur gradually began sitting in as a vocalist with local traditional bands. A few years of study developed a fine banjoist and leader. Art is a walking encyclopedia of Classic Jazz and his record collection is to be envied. I'll paste his email address below and interested parties may order the CD directly.