Band leader Sam Irwin picked up his trumpet the day after Allen Toussaint died on November 10, 2015 and began practicing. He was inspired by the brilliant trumpet work of Nicholas Payton on Toussaint's "The Bright Mississippi" and that was the birth of the Blowhards. We play a regular monthly gig at Poor Boy Lloyd's Seafood Restaurant in downtown Baton Rouge, usually the second Friday of the month.
Traditional jazz is the first jazz. It's the jazz created in New Orleans around 1900 by musicians like Buddy Bolden, Jellyroll Morton, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and the Original Dixieland Jass Band among others. The Florida Street Blowhards are just carrying on the tradition of the early jazz greats.
The Florida Street Blowhards began in March 2016 when clarinetist David Seymour met trumpeter Sam Irwin via social media. We jammed with "playalong" CDs until drummer Zachary Farris-Bourque appeared. Philip Vincent was recruited on bass and Dr. Terry Byars (a well-known local theater and church musician) was wooed from the pulpit to the jazz room. 91-year-old John Dupaquier (late of the Last Straws and the Rampart Street Six) filled in on banjo and piano. Dahveed Randall and Brian Breen also play with the group on banjo and bass. Drummers Erich Scherer and Tim Ost are featured and new-to-Baton Rouge trombonist Ben Herrick has recently been added to the roster. Trumpeter Pete Hittle, soprano sax Betsy Braud and reed man Charlie Modenbach often fill in as well. added