- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 16, 2008

John Brunious, 67, jazz band leader

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Trumpeter John Brunious, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s leader and senior member, has died after an apparent heart attack, the hall said. He was 67.

Mr. Brunious died Feb. 12 in Orlando, Fla., where he had been living since Hurricane Katrina.

A native of New Orleans, Mr. Brunious began his career at the famous New Orleans music spot in 1987. He came from an old-time music family, said Michael White, a music historian and professor at Xavier University.

Mr. Brunious carried on the heritage of jazz funerals and second-lines, playing the slow, somber music that marks the march to the cemetery and high spirited, upbeat tunes that symbolize the cutting loose of the spirit of the deceased.

He learned traditional jazz as a child from his father, John Brunious Sr., a trumpet and piano player who arranged music for Count Basie and others.

Hurricane Katrina flooded Mr. Brunious’ apartment to the ceiling in August 2005. He was rescued by a passing boat, but was among the thousands stranded without food or water at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He stayed there for five days before being evacuated.

Mr. Brunious lost all six of his trumpets to the flood. In May 2006, the Tipitina’s Foundation, which promotes preservation of traditional New Orleans music, gave Mr. Brunious a new silver-plated Conn trumpet.

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