As Heidegger used to ask himself, “What would a Stomp be without Stompers?” (I’ve translated from the original.) And when the query becomes even more specific, “What would a Steamboat Stomp be without the Yerba Buena Stompers?” the answer is even clearer. And so it was, on September 18, 2015, the Stompers took to the stage for the first night’s concert. And they did indeed Stomp. They are John Gill, banjo / vocal; Conal Fowkes, piano; Clint Baker, tuba; Kevin Dorn, drums; Orange Kellin, clarinet; Tom Bartlett, trombone; Leon Oakley, cornet; Duke Heitger, trumpet, playing a program of New Orleans-associated hot jazz.
CAKE WALKING BABIES FROM HOME:
WILLIE THE WEEPER:
OLD STACK O’LEE BLUES:
THE GIRLS GO CRAZY:
It’s not just the Girls. I look forward to future YBS encounters.
A serious word about those six performances. I think the test of any band of this sort is the measure of energy — I don’t mean volume or velocity — they can bring to familiar material. Everyone in that room had heard or perhaps played MILENBERG JOYS many times. But the Stompers approached the material with the curiosity and love that made the familiar into something vibrant. And that is both precious and rare, the very opposite of rote performance.
When I know more about the 2016 Steamboat Stomp, you can be sure I will let you know.
May your happiness increase!