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Back in 1974, producer John Shoup formed the DUKES of Dixieland, and opened their jazz club atop the Monteleone Hotel in the French Quarter, calling it "DUKES' PLACE” with the blessing of its previous owner, Louis Prima. Playing four sets a night, often stretching till dawn, when three bucks would take care of the two drink minimum, DUKES’ PLACE also became the home base for a number of jazz sessions produced by Shoup for PBS, including the early Marsalis family, Stephane Grappelli, Les McCann and Toots Thielemans.
The DUKES started accepting 30 dates a year with orchestras, festivals and Performing Arts Centers in the USA and overseas, never straying long, before returning home first to DUKES’ PLACE until 1986; then a new home on Bourbon Street called MAHOGANY HALL, and in 1992, they moved home base to the STEAMBOAT NATCHEZ, where they have remained ever since. But still performing only 30 concerts a year with eight different themes ("Mardi Gras"; "Blues on the Bayou"; "Symphonic Jazz"; "Voodoo Revue"; "Celebrating Satchmo"; "New Orleans Jazz Legends" and "Back to Bourbon Street"). And in-between, they continue to work the dinner cruise for 45 weeks a year, 7 nights a week.
They also find time to record (31 albums), produce three (3) PBS television shows ("New Orleans Pops"; "Salute to Jelly Roll Morton" and "Celebrating Satchmo") , and stream one show a week, up to the internet. Unlike their dixieland name, they play New Orleans music, from Dr. John and Fats Domino, to Huey Smith and Louis Prima, not to mention many of their own original tunes. With a repertoire of roughly 400 tunes, there is room for all of the above and still be the pre-eminent New Orleans band as well as New Orleans Ambassadors.
While each member is a master in his own right, one (1) member (Joe Kennedy) holds a Master’s Degree and the average age amongst the six is 38
- 1974 April, Connie Jones leaves Pete Fountain to reform and lead the Dukes of Dixieland
- 1974 July, DUKES perform their first, of hundreds, symphony concerts with Chicago's Grant Park Orchestra
- 1974 December, DUKES open their own night club, DUKES PLACE, atop the Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans French Quarter
- 1975 DUKES record first album produced by MCA A&R manager Tom "Tippy" Morgan in NYC, "Vodka Tonic"
- 1975 Mike Vax leaves Stan Kenton Orchestra to take over as leader of Dukes of Dixieland
- 1976 Otis Bazoon replaces Mike Vax, who returns to California, as leader.
- 1978 New Orleans Blue Room band leader Frank Trapani, takes over as leader of DUKES Trapani revamps band, adding 3 New Orleans players, pianist Phamous Lambert, drummer Freddy Kohlman and trombonist Booby Floyd
- 1980 DUKES perform with the New Orleans Pops Orchestra for PBS TV Special at Civic Theatre "Dukes & Friends"
- 1981 DUKES record the first "Direct to Disk" album in Nashville
- 1981 DUKES appear on Nashville Now TV show with Minnie Pearl
- 1983 DUKES host 13 part PBS Television series "Live from New Orleans", at Dukes Place
- 1984 DUKES move from DUKES Place to their new home, "Lulu White's, Mahogany Hall" on Bourbon Street.
- 1984 DUKES are first dixieland band to record on CD, called "Digital Dixieland"
- 1985 DUKES appear with Woody Herman on PBS TV special "Woodchoppers Ball"
- 1986 Frank Trapani passes away, and drummer Dickie Taylor takes over as leader of the DUKES, with JB Scott on trumpet.
- 1988 DUKES perform with jazz legend Danny Barker at Mahogany Hall for PBS special "Salute to Jelly Roll Morton".
- 1989 DUKES release their 10th CD in 15 years from last years PBS Jelly Roll Morton special.
- Dickie Taylor revamps the DUKES due to retirements & the deaths of Booby Floyd & Phamous Lambert, with Kevin Clark on trumpet; Tim McLaughlin on clarinet; Tom McDermott on piano, and Ben Smith on trombone.
- 1992 DUKES record "A salute to Bob Crosby & the Bobcats" CD.
- 1994 DUKES celebrate their 20th anniversary.
- DUKES close their nightclub Mahogany Hall, and move to the STEAMBOAT NATCHEZ, in the French Quarter to perform nightly for the dinner cruises.
- 1998 BOSE Sound, records the DUKES on the Steamboat Natchez, to be added to all new Mercedes automobiles that year.
- Tim Laughlin leaves the DUKES
- 1999 DUKES celebrate their 25th anniversary
- 2000 DUKES record, release and get nominated for a GRAMMY for their gospel CD "Gloryland" with Moses Hogan and the New Orleans Gospel Choir.
- 2000 DUKES make the front page of New Orleans Times Picayune for their consecutive appearances at the Jazz Festival
- 2002 Kevin Clark gets married and moves to Canada, Mike Fulton takes over on trumpet: Tom McDermott leaves to pursue a travel writer and acting career. Scott Obenschain takes over on piano.
- 2004 DUKES record "Louisiana Legends" with former BS&T blues singer Luther Kent.
- 2004 DUKES celebrate their 30th anniversary together.
- 2005 July, DUKES record their 20th CD, and it's their FIRST Christmas CD. It's shipped off to Los Angeles to be mastered.
- 2005 August, Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans August 29th. Band scatters to all parts of the world, Steamboat Natchez sent up river out of harms way, New Orleans is destroyed. Band members homes also destroyed. One member stayed.
- 2005 October, Presidents Bush & Clinton form the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, and asks the Steamboat Natchez & DUKES to travel up the Mississippi & Ohio rivers to raise money for victims of the hurricane. DUKES bring along singer Luther Kent and two Great Chefs from New Orleans, Daniel Bonnot & Willy Coln.
- 2005 December, Christmas in New Orleans CD released.
- 2006 Double CD Riverboat Dixieland released. Very little tourists & dinner cruises. DUKES perform mostly out of town concerts.
- 2007 Few more tourists coming back. Dinner cruises & work on boat increases. Released "Fabulous" CD with symphony.
- 2008 Released double CD "Deep South Blues". Mostly concert tours.
- 2009 Celebrated DUKES 35th anniversary.
- 2010 Riverboat business almost back to normal. Dickie Taylor passes away and Kevin Clark returns as leader/trumpeter.
- Allen Broom replaces Everett Link on bass, who retired after 20 years on band, and JJ Juliano takes Dickie Taylor's place on the drums. First performance with new replacements at the Mississippi State Fair in Sept.
- 2011 January, recorded first country crossover album in Nashville, with the OAK RIDGE BOYS, and four other country artist.
- Steamboat Natchez running on regular schedule with DUKES playing nightly dinner cruise, first time since Katrina.
- Concerts included 5 nights for the Seattle Symphony, followed by 5 nights performing with the BOSTON POPS in Boston's Symphony Hall, and wrapped up 2011 with a sold out tour in Mexico.
- US Patent Office, reissues their 1974 trademark
- 2012 SONY releases the DUKES 25th CD, "When COUNTRY meets DIXIE"
- DUKES record segment for HBO's "TREME" series with the Today show morning crew.
- Paul Thibodeaux replaces JJ Juliano on drums, who retired.
- *DUKES perform their 38th consecutive concert at the New Orleans Jazz Fest in April
- *Sold out DUKES of Dixieland Brazilian tour in August (Belo Horizonte /Brazilia /Rio de Janerio)
- DUKES record PBS television show "Celebrating Satchmo" @ US Mint - New Orleans
- 2013 DUKES winter concerts in Marathon, Islamorada FL as well as with Sarasota Symphony Orchestra in Sarasota FL
- Release their 27th CD & 3rd DVD "Celebrating Satchmo" in conjunction with their summer performance at Satchmo Fest. WLAE TV/11 premiers their TV show of the same name
- Oct 1st, Ben Smith retires on trombone after 20 years on the band. Scott Obenschain moves from piano to the trombone position. Joe Kennedy joins the DUKES replacing Scott
- Release new CD "Superbowl at Mardi Gras" Feb. perform for many Superbowl functions
- Perform their 30th performance at French Quarter Festival and their 39th consecutive performance at the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
- September Dick Van Dyke sits in with the DUKES aboard the Steamboat Natchez
- 2014 DUKES multiple winter concerts in Naples, Clearwater & Stuart FL and the Univ of Georgia in Athens.
- DUKES Celebrate their 20th Year performing on the Steamboat Natchez
- March Offbeat Magazine issue features the DUKES celebrating their 40th Anniversary
- April 5, WLAE TV/11 broadcasts the DUKES Satchmo special at 8PM Saturday night again
- April 11th, DUKES perform their 31st performance at Fr Qtr Fest. and CELEBRATE THEIR 40th ANNIVERSARY
- April 26th, DUKES perform their 40th consecutive performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
- Later in the year, drummer Dave Mahoney (John Mahoney’s son) and trombonist Dr. David Phy
joined the DUKES. They replaced Scott Obenschain (a 12-year DUKES member), and Paul Thibodeaux.
- 2014 was the year the DUKES returned to performing club dates, both in the city and out of town. They entertained the likes of the Department of Transportation, Oracle, Data Vortex, Intel, Film Fleet of LA, and World Strides.
- The DUKES wrapped up the year appearing on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, as well as commercials for Mercedes-Benz and Viagra (go figure?).
- 2015 DUKES perform with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra on January 31st
- DUKES perform in their 32nd straight French Quarter Fest then headed right out to Pensacola to their Jazz Festival in the same weekend.
- DUKES Perform their 41st consecutive performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and recorded a live album to be released later this year
- Sept 18th- DUKES release their 29th Album, Live at 2015 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
- Sept 20th - DUKES perform for the largest jazz brunch on the grounds of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC
- Oct 15. Released their 29th EP CD New Orleans Voodoo
- Oct 23. Sold out State Theatre, Sandusky Ohio
- Oct 26. Closed out 2015 tour with the Newark-Granville Symphony
- Dec 21 DUKES perform for Monday Night Football second year in a row.
- Jan 23. DUKES open season with the Niceville Symphony Orchestra in FL
- Feb 14-19 West Coast concert tour CA & AZ
- Mar 4. Headline Arizona MusicFest in Scottsdale.
- April 8. French Quarter Fest New Orleans Jackson Square
- May 26 Performed for Gray Line Worldwide TV / Internet commercial
- Aug17 Participated in Indigo Hotel Commercial
- Sept 8 Performed "Canal Street Blues" for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau Commercial.
- Sept 26 Third appearance on ESPN's Monday Night Football
- Oct 26 DUKES "Voodoo Woman" tune was up for a Grammy nomination but fell short.
- Jan 4-7 Performance National Jazz Educators (Rated as best New Orleans Jazz Band)
- Feb 22-23 Sold Out Wilson Performing Arts Center Brookfield, WI
- March David Phy retires and is replaced on trombone by by sax great Wes Anderson’s son, Wes IV
- April 8 34th appearance at French Quarter Festival on the Jack Daniel’s Stage, where they recorded their 30th album, “Here Come The Girls”
- May 4 Performance New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
- Sept 5 Released 30th CD "LIVE @ 2017 French Quarter Festival"
- October 4 Concert at Miller Performing Arts Center – Jefferson City, Missouri
- Oct 17 Ryan Burrage retires on clarinet after 19 years with DUKES and replaced by 27 year old Owen Callahan on clarinet, tenor and alto sax, and flute, as well as vocals
- March Recorded with the Victory Belles, four (4) tunes for an Off-Broadway show titled “Music of the Andrews Sisters”
- April 15 35th appearance at French Quarter Festival where they recorded for an upcoming album with the National World War II Museum’s Victory Belles as guest artists
May 7th 38 year old Alan Broome retires and moves to Chicago after eight (8) years with the DUKES, and is replaced by 28 year old JD Haenni on bass. The band just keeps getting younger.
Sept 15th DUKES perform with the NW Indiana Symphony Orchestra in Highland, Indiana
Oct 24th DUKES perform another college date at SE Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO.
Nov 17th DUKES headline the 11th Annual Sunny Isles Jazz Fest in Miami, FL
Dec 31st DUKES close out the year with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra New Years Eve in Greensboro, NC Happy New Year!
Over the past year, the DUKES have also performed for a dozen private functions including the New Orleans Pelicans basketball, Chevron, Legatas, and The Passenger Vessel Association.
DUKES celebrate their 45th Anniversary
DUKES celebrate 25th Anniversary on the Steamboat Natchez, performing 7 nights a week, 50 weeks a year, on the dinner cruise
February 8th Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra Benton Harbor, MI
April 11 DUKES perform their 36th appearance at the New Orleans French Quarter Festival
2020 New Orleans French Quarter Festival cancelled due to COVID.
Feb 21 Panama City Beach Concert
Mar 16 Steamboat Natchez shuts down / Everyone out of work
May 4 Virtual Streaming Event "Feed the Front Lines"
Nov 6 Natchez goes into drydock
Nov 10 Steamboat City of New Orleans begins cruises with DUKES as a trio
Jan 28 DUKES try their hand as a Brass Band @ special event fundraiser
April 23 DUKES open new jazz club "JAZZ @ Blue Dog" on weekends next to Sheraton New Orleans
June 26 Delfayo Marsalis sits in for the night with DUKES @ Blue Dog
Oct. 1, 2021 will be the New Orleans French Quarter Festival's 37th consecutive year.