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July 01, 2010


Terry Ott

Basically the same thing happened to me a few weeks earlier. I sat on that curb for a couple hours and went and got a couple of friends to join me. Now I listen to her CDs, and have a "Google Alert" for her name so I can see what's up with Doreen and her ensemble. Just marvelous stuff. What a talent, and what a wonderfully upbeat and gracious woman.


Hi Terry, Your "google alert" is probably how my post about her came into your 'in' box. It's the people - and musicians that makes New Orleans unique, isn't it. Doreen didn't talk during the time I watched her perform - sounds like you chatted with her. Which CDs do you recommend?


Yes, yours was one of the (very) few Google Alerts I have received for Doreen, which surprised me a bit.

While I was there Doreen's band took a long break, wandered about, and a couple of the players changed. That gave me the chance to introduce myself and shoot the breeze for a couple minutes. At the end, I asked HER which CD(s) should be my first, and she pointed out:

(1) Doreen's Jazz, Volume XIV, "Bill Bailey" (2001)
(2) Doreen's Jazz, New Orleans, "The Band! The Band!" (2003)

So, I got both of course. Love 'em.

About the second one, she said it was her personal favorite --- but added that many won't recognize some of the tracks. Being an old fart, I recognize almost ALL of them (like, Cabaret, On the Sunny Side of the Street, Hello Dolly, High Society, Jeepers Creepers, Squeeze Me, When It's Sleeptime Down South. Lil Liza Jane.... etc).

If not mistaken, she claimed that her clarinet work on Milneburg Joys (soloing about 3 minutes in on a 7+ minutes long track on "The Band! The Band") was her personal best, in her opinion. I can see (or, rather, hear) why, maybe, but they all sound A+ to me. Personally, I could listen to the 8+ minute "Cabaret" track for hours on end.


Thanks for the scoop. I'll be back on that corner before the end of summer. I'll look for those CDs. I dont know whether it qualifies me to be an old fart but I recognize all the titles she referred to. Here's a link to that album Doreen's Jazz New Orleans 'The Band! The Band!' http://www.louisianamusicfactory.com/showoneprod.asp?ProductID=4008
with two songs playable on realplayer or any other similar app. I believe 'Sunny Side Of The Street' was one of the songs she played on the corner last week. How cool.


What a nice story! Thanks, Paul


last year i got to listen to doreen & lawernce play for 3 days. what a treat.
i had cds and had heard them before but it was nothining like listening in person.
the music is great and they are just good people.
thanks to the band for letting me share a good time with y'all.


Doreen's music certainly makes a lasting impression on people.I assume Lawrence is the man on the sousaphone. Her corner on Royal Street is certainly on my list for next trip. If you talked had a chance to talk to her, how did she say how she began playing in the streets? Thanks for your comment.



Thanks for your post. I came across Doreen in January and have been searching the web since. I will be in New Orleans for the Satchmo Music Festival in August and hope to run across Doreen during this time! I see she is playing at a DC club on August 24th--will go if I can!

Paul aka pt at large

I did see her during Satchmo Fest. She played at Brad Pitt's "Make It Right Foundation" Katrina 5 Anniversary party August 28 at the House of Blues. By the time I managed to score a ticket to the sold out event, she had already played. Wonder if you did see her in DC.


My boss just came back from visiting her daughter there and she had a ball. And she is enjoying your stories, as well.

Doreen Ketchens

Hello everyone,
Wow! So nice to know that there are people out there that appreciate our music. I'd like to thank you for making me smile today and feel very uplifted.
Paul, we'd like to say thank you for the story and the wonderful compliments. It's great to be appreciated. We wish all of you well and hope our music has made you smile and feel uplifted too.
Doreen, Lawrence and Dorian.

Paul aka pt at large

If everyone who appreciated your music emailed you, by the time you finished reading it every day, you'd barely have time to get out of the house to keep playing your great music on Royal Street in the Quarter. I look forward to introducing myself and saying hello next time I visit New Orleans.

Your music has the particular kind of swing to it, that New Orleans groove, that uplifts listeners from all over the country. And I'll bet playing it, although it's a job and you're doing it to make a living, has an positive effect on you, too.

I hope people keep putting folding money in your tip jars that shows how grateful they are for coming around the corner and having their spirits lifted by listening to you play and sing.

Jamie Jobb

I agree ... and Doreen is still out there with her band:

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