Papa John Joseph

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Papa John Joseph (27 November 1877 - 22 January 1965) was an early New Orleans jazz string bass player.

Joseph was born in St. James Parish, Louisiana and moved to New Orleans by 1906.

He played with Buddy Bolden early on. Somewhat later he played in the Claiborne Williams band and the Original Tuxedo Orchestra.

For years in mid life he worked professionally as a barber playing music occasionally on the side. He returned to music full time in his later years. He was a regular at Preservation Hall until he famously dropped dead there after finishing a rousing version of When the Saints Go Marching In.


  • New Orleans Jazz: A Family Album by Al Rose and Edmond Souchon