Doreen Ketchens: New Orleans’ Jazz Clarinet Queen
You want to know why this baby boomer traveler is in love with New Orleans? Well, certainly one of the reasons is Doreen Ketchens, hailed as the New Orleans Jazz Clarinet Queen.
We were walking around New Orleans’ French Quarter, with our bellies full of beignets from Café Du Monde, when we heard the most glorious wailings of a jazz clarinet coming from down the street. Immediately, I thought to myself, certainly this quality of music isn’t coming from a street musician.
As we changed course in the direction of the music, I spied a street band with Doreen Ketchens belting out licks on her clarinet. With her clarinet pointed toward the heavens, a large crowd was gathered to listen to music that was seemingly inspired by the angels above.
As it turns out, Doreen is a classically trained clarinetist. When we visited, she was accompanied by husband Lawrence on the tuba, and 9 year old Miss Dorian Ketchens-Dixon on the drums.
All I can say is WOW! And the crowd certainly agreed as evidenced by a great deal of dancing, foot tapping, and shouts of praise.
Here is a video I found on YouTube to better introduce you to Doreen Ketchens, the Jazz Clarinet Queen of New Orleans:
When you visit New Orleans, do yourself a favor and track down Doreen Ketchens. In fact, as I’m writing this, my foot is happily tapping to one of her CDs that we bought.
Give me, a kiss to build a dream on ….