NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – “Here I did the Olympics, I did with Harry Connick up there, and there’s some of–I did a pre-game show at the Super Bowls here, the All Star Basketball Game,” Lucien Barbarin recounts.
As master of traditional jazz trombone, he’s played some of the highest profile gigs in the world, and entertained presidents and kings, but for multi-instrumentalist Lucien Barbarin, the trombone wasn’t his first love.
“My first instrument was drums,” Barbarin said. “I always wanted to be like my great uncle Paul Barbarin.”
That’s correct. He’s a part of that 5 generations of Barbarin’s that have played music in New Orleans, and a cousin to the late great Danny Barker.
Barbarin started really playing with the historic Fairview Baptist Christian Church band. There he met Danny, Leroi Jones, and Dr. Michael White, all mainstays in traditional music in New Orleans.
Today he’s one of the best sidemen in the business, having played with Harry Connick Jr. for more than 20 years.
“Man, I thank god for Harry because Harry is a genuine person, and I love him,” Barbarin said. “Man, I love him like a brother.”
Barbarin is also a great singer, adept at tuba, plays the baritone horn, and a great drummer, so we had ask why trombone most of the time?
He said chucking, “because it pays the bills… No, it’s truly an honor to be known as one of the best.”
Yes, it pays the bills, but Lucien Barbarin is also a master!