New Orleans, and America, lost one of its greatest musical treasures with the passing of Lionel Ferbos on Saturday, July 19, 2014. Mr. Ferbos played trumpet, New Orleans-style.
When I met him at the suggestion of my friend, Irvin Mayfield, Ferbos was in his 98th year and still playing at the Palm Court in the French Quarter on Saturday nights. I interviewed him for our Great Museums film, New Orleans: A Living Museum of Music, about the musical and cultural history of New Orleans. He was warm, kind and gentle, and he played his heart out every time he raised his horn to his lips. He told me that he still practiced every day and he invited me to his 100th birthday party, a couple of years away. A revered and legendary presence in New Orleans, he passed away at the noble age of 103.
Rest in peace, Mr. Ferbos.
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