Eureka Brass Band

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Eureka Brass Band
OriginLake Charles, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
GenresJazz, brass band
Past membersHarold Dejan

The Eureka Brass Band was the name of two prominent but unrelated Louisiana-based brass bands, one from Lake Charles, Louisiana, formed around 1881, and the other from New Orleans, formed around 1920.

Eureka Brass Band (Lake Charles, Louisiana)[edit]

The first EBB was a local brass band organized in the town of Lake Charles, Louisiana around 1881.[1] It is difficult to find any reference to the group after the 1890s and they are assumed to have disbanded. It was composed of several leading citizens of the time, including Rudolph Krause, Walter Moeling, Dr. W.A. Knapp, Willie Mayo, Louis Runte, D.C. Taylor, Elanson Clark, Ferdinand Roy, Steve Sadlock, Paul Sullivan, Frank Shellman, Charles Winterhalder, and Ernest Taylor.[2]

Eureka Brass Band (New Orleans)[edit]

The second outfit was a brass band from New Orleans, active from 1920 to 1975, that recorded prolifically for Atlantic Records, Pax, Alamac, Folkways, Jazzology, and Sounds of New Orleans.

The group's membership varied at any given time, usually holding between nine and eleven members. The typical instrumentation was three trumpets, two trombones, two reeds, tuba, snare drum, and bass drum.

The group was founded by trumpeter Willie Wilson, and its early members included clarinetists Willie Parker, John Casimir, George Lewis and cornetist Kid Rena. In the 1930s Wilson became ill, and trumpeter Alcide Landry retained nominal control over the band. After 1937, when Wilson's condition forced him to leave, sousaphonist Joseph "Red" Clark briefly became the group's leader, followed by Dominique "T-Boy" Remy (1937-46), and then Percy Humphrey, who led the group for the remainder of its existence.


A 1951 album New Orleans Parade features the players Humphrey, trombonists Charles "Sunny" Henry and Albert Warner, and saxophonist Emanuel Paul.

A mid-1950s line-up comprised Robert Lewis (bass drum); Percy Humphrey, Kid Shick Colar, and Charlie Love (trumpets); Sonny Henry and Albert Warner (trombones); Ruben Roddy (alto sax); Emanuel Paul (tenor sax), and Red Clark (sousaphone),[3] while another, from 1954, included Willie Pajeaud on trumpet.[4]

Their 1962 sessions Jazz at Preservation Hall, Vol. 1: the Eureka Brass Band of New Orleans, issued on Atlantic Records, features Humphrey and his brother, clarinetist Willie Humphrey, trumpeters Kid Sheik Cola and Pete Bocage, trombonists Albert Warner and Oscar "Chicken" Henry, Emanuel Paul on tenor sax, Wilbert "Bird" Tillman on sousaphone, snare drummer Josiah "Cie" Frazier, and bass drummer Robert "Son Fewclothes" Lewis.

The group disbanded after 1975, but Humphrey occasionally revived the name for festival performances and other appearances.


  1. ^ Reid, Maude. "The Eureka Brass Band (1890s)". Maude Reid Scrapbooks. McNeese State University Archives. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  2. ^ Reid, Maude. "The Eureka Brass Band (1885)". Maude Reid Scrapbooks. McNeese State University Archives. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  3. ^ Charters, Samuel (2009) A Language of Song: Journeys in the Musical World of the African Diaspora, p. 84. Duke University Press At Google Books. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  4. ^ Charters, Samuel Barclay (2008) A Trumpet Around the Corner: The Story of New Orleans Jazz, p. 54. Univ. Press of Mississippi At Google Books. Retrieved 17 July 2013.