New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra

Klaus Pehl, Bonn, 11.08.2021

The N.O.R.O. was founded 1967 by Lars Edegran and was active especially during the 70s. Their basis was the rediscovered music of the John Robichaux (1866 - 1939) orchestra, which belonged to the Jazz Archives of Tulane University, New Orleans. The orchestra plays classic rags, cakewalks and other pieces from the ragtime era approximately between 1890 and 1915. Das N.O.R.O was invited in the early 70s by George Wein to take part at the Newport Jazz Festival. 1974 they toured Europe, f├╝r many Europeans the first time to hear ragtime music live if they knew already the music used in the film "The Sting" and played by the New England Conservatory Orchestra under the leadership of Gunther Schuller. Das N.O.R.O. recorded many times with William Russel (vl), Lionel Ferbos (tp), Paul Crawford (tb), Orange Kellin (cl), Lars Edegran (p), Walter Payton jr. (b), John Robichaux (dr).

William Russel (b. 1905 - d. 1992 RIP, violin)

Bill Russel is one of the important research people in jazz field. He played a key role in the New Orleans revival in the early forties. As a competent author he contributed numerously  to books and journals. Even more important were the recordings he made with reactivated New Orleans musicians as the trumpet player Bunk Johnson and the clarinet player George Lewis. Not very well known in the jazz scene is his solid music education, his far reaching work with chinese music and his compositions (William Russel, "Made in America": The Complete Works, CD mode 34, 1993). Bill Russel played the violin in the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra since its foundation in 1967.

Lionel Ferbos (b. 1911 - d. 2014 RIP, cornet)

Trumpet player in the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra since its foundation 1967; in his last years also active as trumpet player in the Preservation Hall, New Orleans

Paul Crawford (b. 1925 - d. 1996 RIP, trombone)

As the co-Leader of the Crawford-Ferguson Night Owls his career began as a trombone player in the fifties, then with Punch Miller in the Preservation Hall, worked in the sixties in the jazz archives of Tulane University. In that context he was the motor for the foundation of the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra by Lars Edegran in 1967.

Orange Kellin (b. 1944, clarinet)

came 1966 as a clarinet player together with Lars Edegran from Sweden to New Orleans, played till the end of the seventies in the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, many European tours with the "New Orleans Joymakers", together with Lars Edegran also musical director auch musikalischer Direktor der Musikshow "One Mo' Time", zahlreiche Plattenaufnahmen mit den ├╝berlebenden Legenden des New Orleans Jazz, heute einer der wichtigen Bewahrer der Klarinetten-Tradition in New Orleans

Lars Edegran (b. 1944, piano/leader)

came 1966 as piano player together with Orange Kellin  from Sweden to New Orleans, worked in the jazz archive of Tulane University, and founded on the basis of the rediscovered music of the bandleader John Robichaux (1866 - 1939) 1967 the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, many European tours with the "New Orleans Joymakers", together with Orange Kellin also musical director of the music show "One Mo' Time", noumerous recordings with the living legends of  jazz, today one of the most important piano players occupied with the preservation of New Orleans jazz.

John E. Robichaux (b. 1915 - d. 2005 RIP, drums)

Nephew of the famous bandleader John Robichaux (1866 - 1939), as a drummer with Kid Shots Madison, in the fifties with Kid Thomas Valentine, since 1967 also with the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra

Walter Payton jr. (b. 1942 - d. 2010 RIP, Bass)

he played bass and sousphone in his home town with the "Preservation Hall Jazz Band", the "French Market Jazz Hall Band" and the "Young Tuxedo Brass Band". He worked a.o. with Harry Connick jr. and Champion Jack Dupree. He was the father of jazz trumpet player Nicholas Page.