‘Lucky’ Lucien Barbarin Carries the Torch for his Musical Family

Over the years many New Orleans families have proudly passed down musical traditions from generation to generation. Names such as Tio, Dodds, Keppard, St. Cyr, Humphrey, and Marsalis resonate with the Big Easy sound. One such family nurtured jazz during its earliest days and now keeps the music alive and kickin’ in the twenty-first century. The name is Barbarin. That family’s favorite son is 59-year-old trombonist Lucien Barbarin, a 25-year veteran of the Harry Connick Jr. Big Band. Connick’s orchestra features an array of New Orleanians including the leader, trombonist Barbarin, drummer Shannon Powell, and trumpeters Leroy Jones and Mark Braud. At every performance, Connick shines a spotlight on the horn player he calls “Lucky.” The piece de résistance of this summer’s tour was Barbarin’s “adjudication” of a tongue-in-cheek trumpet duel between Connick and Leroy Jones. In past years, Barbarin often paired off with Connick on freakish renditions of “Oh, Didn’t He Ramble” and “St. James Infirmary.” When not touring, Barbarin can be heard in New Orleans on Friday and Sunday nights with his own band at the Palm Court Jazz Café, on Monday nights with the Original Jazz Tuxedo Band at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse and some Thursday nights with the Preservation Hall All-Stars at Preservation Hall. Family Ties A great-nephew of Paul Barbarin (wh
You've read three articles this month! That makes you one of a rare breed, the true jazz fan!

The Syncopated Times is a monthly publication covering traditional jazz, ragtime and swing. We have the best historic content anywhere, and are the only American publication covering artists and bands currently playing Hot Jazz, Vintage Swing, or Ragtime. Our writers are legends themselves, paid to bring you the best coverage possible. Advertising will never be enough to keep these stories coming, we need your SUBSCRIPTION. Get unlimited access for $30 a year or $50 for two.

Not ready to pay for jazz yet? Register a Free Account for two weeks of unlimited access without nags or pop ups.

Already Registered? Log In

If you shouldn't be seeing this because you already logged in try refreshing the page.

Russ Tarby is based in Syracuse NY and has written about jazz for The Syncopated Times, The Syracuse New Times, The Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse (JASS) JazzFax Newsletter, and several other publications.

Or look at our Subscription Options.