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Dr. Michael White

Dr. Michael White - clarinet Although he grew up in the jazz-saturated environment of New Orleans and several of his relatives played with early jazz greats King Oliver and Kid Ory, Dr. Michael White's primary musical influence as a youth was his aunt, who played classical clarinet. White played clarinet in the noted St. Augustine's School Marching Band, but at the end of his college days he joined the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band led by Danny Barker, a banjoist and elder statesman of New Orleans traditional jazz. White also played with Doc Paulin's Brass Band, marching in funeral parades and exploring historical recordings of such band leaders as Johnny Dodds, Sidney Bechet, and George Lewis. During this period he had the opportunity to play alongside more than three dozen traditional jazz musicians born between 1890 and 1910. Although they had grown up within blocks of one another, Michael White and Wynton Marsalis had not met until the 1980s, when White sparked Marsalis’ interest in the music of the traditional jazz elders of New Orleans. This resulted in the seminal recording “Majesty of the Blues,” on which White is featured, and which marks Marsalis' turn toward appreciation and performance of the traditional repertoire of New Orleans jazz. Since then, White has served as a resident artist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and has been named as a Keller Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Xavier University, where he taught Spanish for more than 20 years. He also performed with a number of musical ensembles including the Young Tuxedo Brass Band and his own Original Liberty Jazz Band. In 2005, his home was flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and he lost a huge collection of historical documents, recordings, and musical instruments. While living first in his car, being displaced in Houston, and then in a FEMA trailer, White gradually put his musical and personal life back together. He continues to teach and perform, commenting: "...one of the lessons that I learned, and I try to teach this to my students, is that one of the values of listening to jazz, especially New Orleans jazz, is not just for the danceable nature and the great music that it is, but also because of the lessons that it teaches and that can be used today. And one of those great lessons is that you have to improvise. You have to be able to take what comes and make something good happen with it." White recently released his first post Katrina recording of mainly original compositions entitled “Blue Crescent, ” on Basin Street Records.

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Album Review

Dr. Michael White: Blue Crescent

Read "Blue Crescent" reviewed by John Barron

The recovery of New Orleans from the effects of Hurricane Katrina has been slow coming. The city's musical community has been devastated by the forced relocation of numerous first-rate performers. Despite all the pain and tragedy of the last three years, local artists like clarinetist/educator Dr. Michael White are able to find solace in the enduring optimism and good-natured spirit of the crescent city. Blue Crescent finds White with an all-star, hometown cast of heavy-hitters performing a set of spiritually ...

Album Review

Dr. Michael White: Dancing in the Sky

Read "Dancing in the Sky" reviewed by Joel Roberts

I've had the good fortune to spend the last few New Year's Eves in New Orleans, sampling the Crescent City's always-tasty menu of music, food and high-spirited holiday hospitality. But if I were back here in New York and looking for a place to usher in the year with appropriate laissez le bon temps roule flair, I'd make a beeline to the Village Vanguard, where Dr. Michael White transports the Big Easy to the Big Apple each December 31st.

Album Review

Dr. Michael White: Dancing In The Sky

Read "Dancing In The Sky" reviewed by Jim Santella

Traditional jazz gives you the kind of feeling that cannot come from other forms of music. Folkloric in its content, the songs connect you with history. It sets your mind at ease. “Dancing in the Sky” places you in the midst of a New Orleans funeral procession, as everyone returns from the cemetery and decides to celebrate a life. It’s a time for reflection and a time for moving forward.

Two traditional numbers and a double handful of ...

Album Review

Dr. Michael White: Jazz from the Soul of New Orleans

Read "Jazz from the Soul of New Orleans" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

At the burning bush...


The problem I have had with Dr. Michael White has been that I felt him overtly reverent to New Orleans Jazz to the point of its asphyxiation (a complaint I frequently voice for Wynton Marsalis and the music of Ellington on). Jazz from the Soul of New Orleans causes me to refute my previous prejudices. Dr. White is a bit of the keeper of the flame. That flame, if you will, might be considered the ...

Album Review

Dr. Michael White: In a Tribute to Mr. Johnny Dodds

Read "In a Tribute to Mr. Johnny Dodds" reviewed by Dave Nathan

Dr. Michael White is a professor of Spanish and Afro-American music at Xavier University. But his real job is working hard to make sure that the New Orleans jazz tradition stays alive and well through writings, lectures and performing. Selecting soul mate fellow clarinetist Johnny Dodds as the subject for this CD, White replicates tunes Dodds played with either his own group or with one of the many he was a member of during his performing years. The older brother ...

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Michael White - Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 1 (2011)

Michael White - Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 1 (2011)

Source: Something Else!

As much as famous folks like Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr. have burnished the city of New Orleans' role in jazz, they didn't do it by playing in the style that made the city famous. Enter Michael White, beginning with a career-making sideman turn on Wynton's 1989 recording Majesty of the Blues. Seemingly untouched by the successive waves of R&B, soul, funk and hip hop, White's solo moments on that record harkened back to an earlier time—a much, much ...



Dr. Michael White's Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 1 Coming This Month

Dr. Michael White's Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 1 Coming This Month

Source: Michael Ricci

Basin Street Records have set a June 21, 2011 release date for Dr. Michael White's Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 1 (Part 2 will be released in early 2012). White has recorded ten projects under his own name and has participated on over forty recordings including the latest projects of Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, and Marianne Faithful. This is the fifth release of Dr. Michael White's on the Basin Street Records label following A Song for George Lewis, Jazz ...



Crescent City Celebration: Henry Butler / Dr. Michael White Quartet with Maurice Brown 9/02 at Merkin Hall

Crescent City Celebration: Henry Butler / Dr. Michael White Quartet with Maurice Brown 9/02 at Merkin Hall

Source: All About Jazz

Kaufman Center Presents Opening Season Concert CRESCENT CITY CELEBRATION

Henry Butler / Dr. Michael White Quartet with Maurice Brown Hosted by Ashley Kahn at Merkin Concert Hall Saturday, September 2, 2006 at 8:30pm

“New Orleans is what I call a spirit center. In traditional New Orleans jazz the spirit is in the way it captures the personal, individual sound of musicians and in the way it unites them; ...


Music Industry

Dr. Michael White CD Release Party at House of Blues in New Orleans

Dr. Michael White CD Release Party at House of Blues in New Orleans

Source: All About Jazz

Basin Street Records Recording Artists Los Hombres Calientes, Kermit Ruffins, and Irvin Mayfield will all be performing this weekend at New Orleans by the Bay in Mountain View, CA at the Shoreline Ampitheater on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11. Other acts include Dr. John and The Neville Brothers.

Also, catch Los Hombres Calientes in Sebastopol, CA at the Powerhouse on Friday, June 9th and catch Kermit Ruffins there on Saturday, June 10th.

Dr. Michael White CD Release Party ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Blue Crescent

Basin Street Records


Dancing In The Sky

Basin Street Records


Jazz from the Soul of...

Basin Street Records




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