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NEW ORLEANS— One musical family has been at the forefront of promoting and playing New Orleans music for decades.  That family is the French family and the patriarch of this generation is the great bassist and singer George French.

George began his career in the tradition of his father, the late Albert ‘Papa’ French, who led the Original Tuxedo Brass Band.  George took that music farther and also explored other genres.

George’s son Gerald French said, “My dad I think to me is like the refining part of that whole thing. Growing up in New Orleans in the late 40’s and 50’s got a lot of the R&B kind of stuff with him, but also was exposed to more modern jazz.”

In fact, George was performing in studio sessions while still in high school and we on to play on dozens of hit records coming out of our city. He also shared the bandstand with a who’s who of New Orleans music greats.

In addition to his work on bass, George French is just as heralded for what he can do with his voice.

Quint Davis of Festival Productions explained, “George French as a singer. I don’t know if people know George French is like the Lou Rawls of New Orleans. When you see George French in the cubes in the Economy Hall Tent, you go to that.”

George French and the New Orleans Storyville Jazz Band plays the Economy Hall Tent at 1:40pm, Saturday May 4th.

Giants of the Fest is made possible with help from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Archive and brought to you by Rouses Markets.