March 05, 2020 7:00 PMUptown Campus
Thursday Night Jazz, supported by a grant from Newcomb-Tulane College, is a new on-campus music series and a revamp of the Newcomb Department of Music’s long-running “Jazz At the Rat” program. Featured veteran jazz performers from the New Orleans music scene will be brought in each semester and perform along with the Jazz Program’s combos and big band. Events will be in the Recital Hall of Dixon Annex, 7-9pm, and free and open to students and the general public. The Music Department welcomes all students, teachers, administrators and the general public to attend these wonderful events and celebrate our Jazz Program students.
From the birthplace of Jazz and the city of family Music Traditions, Gerald French is from one of the pioneering families of New Orleans Traditional Jazz. For the past 15 years, he has been the drummer for Ms. Charmaine Neville, the Darlin of New Orleans and has been the drummer for the Dixie Cups for the past two years and counting. In November of 2004, he was given the opportunity to join the Harry Connick Jr. Big Band. Mr. French is a graduate of Alcee Foriter Senior High School, Delgado Community College of New Orleans and attended Southern University of Baton Rouge where he played in the band. He was the percussion teacher at St. Mary's Academy and served as the Assistant Band Director.
Mr. French has traveled and performed with a variety of musicians, including Leroy Jones, Harry Connick Jr., Dr. John, Dr. Michael White, Lillan Boutte, Jermy Davenport, Big Chief Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias, Preservation Hall Jazz Band just to name a few. He has appeared on several recordings and television shows such as Fulton Street Live with Ingrid Lucia and George French, Leroy Jones; Prop's for Pop's, Ingrid Lucia; Fortune, Almost Blue and Don't Stop, Big Al Carson; Bring Your Drinking Ass Home, Craig Klein; Trombonism, Cubamismo's; Mardi Gras Mambo, and Leroy Jones; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Today Show with Harry Connick Jr.. For the past twenty years, he has traveled to Japan with the New Orleans All-stars in the month of August.
Mr. French is known as "The Giant" for his own original style of drumming and because of that, he has traveled around the world playing all types of music. He has appeared in Modern Drummer Magazine in the October 1996 issue. French has performed at several festivals including New Orleans French Quarter Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival , Ascona New Orleans and Classics Jazz Festival in Ascona, Switzerland, North Sea Jazz Festival, Festival International De Jazz De Montreal, Edinburgh International Jazz & Blues Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Montana Jazz; Waiheke Island in New Zealand and Montroux Jazz Festival.