Carl LeBlanc

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Carl LeBlanc
Background information
Birth nameCarl LeBlanc, Jr.
Born (1955-05-26) May 26, 1955 (age 67)
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States
GenresJazz, Avant-garde jazz, Bebop, R&B
Occupation(s)Musician, educator
Instrument(s)Guitar, banjo, vocals
Years active1967-present

Carl LeBlanc (born May 26, 1955) is an American guitarist and banjo player. LeBlanc is most striking for his work in both avant garde jazz and traditional jazz—being the only musician to work with famed afrofuturist keyboardist/bandleader Sun Ra and Preservation Hall.

LeBlanc has recorded seven solo albums during his career blending the varying styles of traditional jazz, avant garde jazz, bebop, and New Orleans tradition, namely Mardi Gras Indian and Second line style.[1] He has also served as banjo player at Preservation Hall, following in the footsteps of his predecessor Narvin Kimball, and directed the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz and Heritage Band.[2][3]


LeBlanc was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in the Seventh Ward. He heard the city's brass band parades in his neighborhood when he was a child, but it was The Beatles's famous Ed Sullivan Show appearance which inspired him to play the guitar. At the early age of 12 he began performing with a high school-aged band The Sonics at The Wonderful Boys Club, a social and pleasure hall, and served as apprentice to many of the neighborhood's musicians.

LeBlanc received a scholarship to Columbia University where he studied Music Education after being recruited by former Jesuit High School classmates. He would later graduate from Southern University of New Orleans, studying under the tutelage of Kidd Jordan, and move to Philadelphia to play with renowned jazz musician Sun Ra.[4]

During his career, LeBlanc has also performed with Fats Domino, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the Dirty Dozen, Allen Toussaint, Bo Diddley, Ellis Marsalis Jr., James Rivers, Blind Boys of Alabama, and Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. LeBlanc continues preserving the legacy of New Orleans music tradition through education and performing.[5][6]


As leader[edit]

  • Sidewalk Serenade (Independent, 1975)
  • Bebop (Independent, 1979)
  • Gazebo Afternoon (Independent, 2004)
  • New Orleans’ Seventh Ward Griot (Preservation Hall, 2008)
  • Partners (Independent, 2009)
  • Those Who Have Ears (Independent, 2011)
  • Justin Case (Independent, 2012)

As sideman[edit]

with Sun Ra:

with Preservation Hall Jazz Band:

with The Del McCoury Band and Preservation Hall Jazz Band:

with The Blind Boys of Alabama:

with Fats Domino:

  • Alive and Kickin' (Independent, 2006)
  • Legends of New Orleans: Fats Domino Live! (Shout! Factory, 2003)

with Treme Brass Band:

  • New Orleans Music (Mardi Gras Records, 2008)

with Lucien Barbarin:

  • It's Good To Be Home (Independent, 2007)

with Johnny Adams:

  • The Verdict (Rounder, 1995)

with Eddie Bo:

  • Eddie Bo and Friends (Bo-Sound, 1995)
  • Back Up This Train (Bo-Sound, 1996)
  • Nine Yards of Funk (Bo-Sound, 1998)
  • We Come To Party (Bo-Sound, 2001)

with Kermit Ruffins:

  • Livin’ a Treme Life (Basin Street, 2009)

with Pretty Lights:

other works:


  1. ^ Szwed, John F. Space Is the Place: The Lives and times of Sun Ra. New York: Da Capo, 1998. Print.
  2. ^ Guillot, Lydia. My New Orleans. United States:, 2009. Print.
  3. ^ Rawls, Alex. "Local Heros." SPIN May–June 2008: 126. Print.
  4. ^ Salaam, Kalamu Ya. "Carl LeBlanc." Wavelength Magazine Jan. 1987: 15-16. Print.
  5. ^ Kennedy, Al. Chord Changes on the Chalkboard: How Public School Teachers Shaped Jazz and the Music of New Orleans. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2002. Print.
  6. ^ LeBlanc, Carl (November 11, 2015). "Modern Traditions: Ben Harper and Carl LeBlanc". American Routes (Interview). Interviewed by Nick Spitzer. New Orleans: PRX.

External links[edit]