The fifth annual Merrickville’s Jazz Fest opens at 7:30 pm on Thursday October 15, 2015 to sounds of the New Orleans Express in the Baldachin Inn Ballroom. This event is a sponsor appreciation night and ticket and pass holders are invited to attend. Tickets and passes will be available for purchase at the door.
New Orleans Express, a seven-piece classic jazz band from Pembroke, delights in playing toe-tapping, exciting tunes that are not usually played by run-of-the mill Dixieland bands. They play pieces that are challenging, such as “West End Blues“ and “Wrought Iron Rag“. New Orleans Express was the name of a band that Dr. Ron Lloyd co-founded in Chester, England, in 1975. After coming to Canada, he set up practice in Pembroke in 1980 as a family physician. Before long, he found that he really missed his jazz. In 1999, he decided that there was enough talent in Pembroke and area to start his own band. At first Ron Lloyd wanted to call the band “Dr. Jazz” on account of the fact that two of the members were doctors, but discovered that a band by that name already existed in Ottawa. He then decided to name it after the band he formed in Chester, so it became the Canadian version of New Orleans Express.
Gord Tapp, the trumpeter, is a gifted arranger who can faithfully transpose the original recordings from the masters such as early Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke and Wilbur de Paris.
The band has performed several times at the Ottawa Jazz Festival, as well as in local communities and as far away as Kitchener. Wayne Pauli of the Kichener Jazz Club writes “we hear between 100 and 150 bands per year and you would rate in the top 10”. Applause also rang out in Kemptville: “We did so enjoy having you play for our event, Jazz in the Garden and the kudos are still rolling in for the wonderful afternoon and the fabulous band.”
Ron Lloyd — banjo and vocals
Gord Tapp — cornet, trumpet and vocals
Ted Clifford — clarinet, soprano and alto saxophones
Mike Britton — trombone
Dale Tapp — tenor sax, percussion and vocals
Chuck Pierce — double bass
Roy Yandt — drums