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Dick "Spanky"Maley

Dave Fanning_edited.jpg


Following a formal handover process during our February 18th Society Board Meeting, I am excited to be the newest President of our Dixieland Jazz Society!

Expanding on my recent email message to the membership, I wanted to provide a more detailed introduction for members who may not know me as well as encourage you to share your ideas for the society with me, particularly as it relates to bands that we can book for future concerts.  Please let me know which bands we have hosted are you most excited about inviting back and whether you have additional bands that you would like us to invite to perform for our society.

I’m originally from New Orleans, where my family has lived since before Andrew Jackson helped defend the city from the invading Redcoats in 1815.  I take part in the city’s Mardi Gras festivities as a member of Pete Fountain’s Half-Fast Walking Club.

Recently, I produced my first traditional jazz album for Onward Brass Band, “Back on the Street” with some great New Orleans musicians. You can find it on all the standard music streaming services. Many society members have already accepted one of my CDs as a gift.  I will continue to bring them to future concerts for anyone who would like one as a gift.


The Onward Brass Band has a long history, dating back to the 1800’s.  The earliest known references to the band can be found in The Weekly Pelican, a New Orleans newspaper. On Saturday, February 19, 1887, it noted the Onward Brass Band furnished the music at a banquet in the city.  The Onward Brass Band gained considerable popularity during the 1880’s and by the time of the Spanish–American War in the late 19th century, the ensemble had achieved a reputation as the number one marching band in New Orleans.  In 1898, while under the direction of James McNeil, members of the Onward Brass Band enlisted in the Spanish–American War in the “Ninth Immunes Regimental Band,” serving in Cuba.  Upon returning to the U.S. in 1899, those members played in the Victory Parade down Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Following the war, cornetist Manuel Perez assumed leadership of the band.  Its membership included many New Orleans music legends: in addition to Perez, Peter Bocage, Lorenzo Tio Jr., George Baquet, Isidore Barbarin, and even, for a brief time, King Oliver performed with Onward. Unfortunately, this band never recorded.  Perez was Onward's leader from 1903 until the unit disbanded about 1930.  The band seems to have fallen into decline during the Great Depression, and its history for the next three decades is obscure.  Around 1960, famed drummer Paul Barbarin, the son of Isidore, decided to reform the band, and pattern it after its great predecessors.  Under Paul's leadership, Onward received new life, and included his younger brother Louis, nephew Danny Barker, Louis Cottrell Jr., Placide Adams and many other top New Orleans jazz musicians. They made two recordings (in 1965 and 1968).

When Barbarin died in 1969, clarinetist Louis Cottrell Jr. (godson of Manny Perez), took over the band's leadership.  This group included several members from the preceding band as well as other fine jazz players such as Freddie Kohlman, Teddy Riley, Jack Willis and Waldren “Frog” Joseph.  They are heard on two additional recordings (1974 and 1978).  Notably, the band performed at Super Bowl VI in New Orleans' Tulane Stadium in a game featuring the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.  Cottrell died in 1978 and leadership of the Onward Brass Band passed to snare-drummer Placide Adams who headed the band for the following quarter century.  During that time, the band continued to make yearly appearances at the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the French Quarter Festival.  Adams entrusted snare-drummer Kurt Nicewander, a member of the Onward Brass Band for 14 years, with the responsibility of ensuring that the Onward's rich heritage be kept alive.  Nicewander passed leadership of the band to James Wall, my son, in 2022.  (Acknowledging potential bias in my assessment, James is the top traditional jazz trombonist under 30 years old in the Tampa Bay region. When he’s not working as an elementary/middle school music teacher, you can hear him performing traditional New Orleans jazz and other styles from Gulfport to Ybor City to Mar-a-Lago.)


I look forward to a fun-filled, jazzy 2024!

Thank you,
Joseph Wall

Double Bass Player


Announcement about Dues & Special Event Pricing

Starting in October the new format for Dues will be:


Patron $130

Family (Couple) $45

Individual $35

Corresponding $30

No Change in Student information

Special Events & Dinners

$40 Members

$45 Non Members

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