Barbone Street Jazz

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Barbone Street JazzThe Barbone Street Jazz Band was first formed in 1996 when clarinetist Steve Barbone and a group of professional jazz musicians decided to fill an existing niche for tasteful New Orleans Jazz and Swing. The musicians shared a love for jazz and recognized a growing trend to swing dancing, American Songbook and Mardi Gras music among the younger people. Especially in local colleges. They also recognized the appreciation for this music among the older generations. Steve formed the band and started looking for gig venues. By the year 2000, the band was actively playing more than 80 gigs a year in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Then, the Ken Burns TV series about jazz debuted and the demand for experienced jazz bands rapidly increased.Barbone Street Jazz
Our gigs doubled to 160 in 2001 and shortly thereafter rose to 225 a year making it difficult to keep up. Especially since most of us in the first band were in their seventies and our average age was 64. We decided that 125 to 150 gigs a year was the right number for us and continue that until this day. Today’s band is a bit younger, because some of the original members have passed away, and Steve is now the oldest member at 79. The newer band members are all excellent musicians and the tradition of musical excellence continues with world class musicians.
The basic band is a six piece jazz group. However, in order to fill the demand for good Barbone Street Jazzmusic, the band works with a group of about 45 musicians who supply everything from soft background to foot stomping, high energy jazz. Our groups include trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, and septets. Our clients include Night Clubs, Restaurants, Jazz Festivals, Universities, High Schools, Elementary Schools, Corporate Events, New Orleans Jazz Funerals, Hotels, Municipal Concerts, Swing Dances, Country Clubs, Private Parties, Equestrian Events, Weddings, Jazz Society Concerts, Jazz Vespers, Retirement Communities, Political Events, Fund Raisers, and others functions where music is desired. Simply put, we do it all as far as music is concerned.
The musicians in Barbone Street have performed with some of the legends of jazz in the 20th and 21st centuries. As individuals, band members performed with Lester Young,Barbone Street Jazz Billie Holiday, Clifford Brown, Charlie Ventura, Ben Webster, Harry James, Peggy Lee, Louis Prima, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Yank Lawson, Pee Wee Erwin, Bob Haggart, Miff Mole, Theonious Monk, Sidney Bechet, Muggsy Spanier et al. They also worked with “Society Bands” fronted by Lester Lanin, Howard Lanin and Meyer Davis. And when big money beckoned, they toured with the likes of Fabian, Chubby Checker, Barry Manilow and Liberace and did long running TV Shows including many years on the Mike Douglas Show and 13 TV specials with Peggy Lee. As a result, the band knows thousands of American Songbook tunes in addition to being a marvelous jazz band.

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