Guitarist, singer and New Orleans music scene staple Deacon John Moore has led AFM Local 174-496 since 2006, when he was elected as the group’s the first African-American president. An award-winning performer whose decades-spanning work in R&B, rock, blues, jazz and gospel have taken him from Cosimo Matassa’s studio to stages at the White House and beyond, Deacon’s legendary contributions to the New Orleans music songbook have included work on classic hits by the likes of Ernie K-Doe, Benny Spellman, Lee Dorsey, Aaron Neville, Allen Toussaint, Dave Bartholomew, Harold Battiste, Wardell Quezergue, Eddie Boe, Chris Kenner and Professor Longhair, among many others.
Deacon has worked as a professional musician in New Orleans since his teenage years, shortly after which he began performing at the famous Dew Drop Inn, where he developed a devoted following. Since then, his accolades have included inductions into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame, multiple Lifetime Achievement Awards and the American Federation of Musicians’ highly coveted Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award.
Deacon, with his band Deacon John & the Ivories, was the first rock’n’roll musician to play with the New Orleans Symphony in 1970. In 1990, he released his first CD, “Singer of Song,” followed by his second CD, “Deacon John Live at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (1994).” In 2009, he received a Community Arts Award from the Arts Council of New Orleans, performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, and was honored with an Asante Legends Award. In 2012, he earned the Slim Harpo Blues Pioneer Award from the Slim Harpo Music Awards. In 2013, Deacon John earned a star on the Tipitina’s Walk of Fame.
Deacon has graced the covers of many local and national newspapers and magazines. He has appeared in movies including “Angel Heart,” live musical theater, and has been featured in multiple national TV commercials as well as many WYES-TV documentaries on New Orleans history and culture, most recently, “Growing Up in New Orleans” and “Audubon Park Memories.” Deacon played “Danny Nelson” in the first season of HBO’s acclaimed Treme. He is currently featured in the New Orleans media campaign, “Follow Your NOLA.” Deacon is the star of the critically acclaimed documentary movie, “Going Back to New Orleans: The Deacon John Film,” and the live concert DVD and CD, “Deacon John’s Jump Blues.”
A bandleader, vocalist, dancer, banjo/guitar player, director and choreographer, Banu manages her own record label, Swing Out Records and in 2010, to preserve and promote traditional jazz, formed The New Orleans Trad Jazz Camp for adults.
She has performed at jazz festivals, performing art centers, and with over 80 performances with symphony orchestras from Portland Maine to Portland Oregon. Orchestras include the Boston Pops, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in Oslo, Norway, to name a few.
The highlights of Banu’s career have been appearing on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, bringing in the millennium as the only guest artist of the Boston Pops, singing at the 2001 Playboy Jazz Festival, and singing with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl. She has appeared all over the world with her band and was the guest vocalist on both Wild Bill Davison European tour in 1986 and the World’s Greatest Jazz Band tour of Japan 1996.
Banu was honored in 2009 by the New Orleans Preservation Resource Center for her contributions to music and was a New Orleans Magazine’s 2007 Jazz All Star. She was featured in the 2010 New Orleans Magazine as “Top Female Achiever” and appeared on the cover of OffBeat magazine’s June 2014 cover. In 2009 Banu help form and became Executive Director of New Orleans Trad Jazz Camp for adults. The week-long workshop takes place in June in the heart in French Quarter
CINDY MAYES, a native of Pensacola, Florida, received her B.A. in Music Education at the University of West Florida majoring in oboe and saxophone and adding flute and clarinet during that period. She joined the Musicians Union in 1978 and performed in the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, the UWF-PJC Concert Band, Jazz Band and the Woodwind Quintet, the Roy Russell- Ron Craig Big Band, various ensembles and accompanied music majors on piano. She also composed an original saxophone quartet piece for a local dance troupe, an original woodwind quartet piece and composed and conducted original music for a PBS documentary on the life of Florida congressman, Bob Sikes. She moved to North Carolina after marrying woodwind doubler, Frank Mayes and performed with various musical groups. She began her music copying career, copying an original opera based on the life of Lizzie Borden.
Moving to New Orleans in 1985 and joining Local 174-496, she began a fruitful period in which she performed and/or recorded with many New Orleans musicians and bands: the Kid Johnson Orchestra, Aaron Neville, Allen Toussaint, the Chuck Easterling Swingaphonic Big Band, the Al Belletto Big Jazz Band, the Dave Bartholomew Big Band, Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack, Lee Allen, Earl Palmer, Oliver “Who Shot The Lala” Morgan, Charlie Brent, “Gentleman” June Gardner, Nicholas Payton, Johnny Vidacovich, Ronnie Kole, David Torkanowsky and many other New Orleans musicians. National acts included Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Ray Charles, The O’Jays, The Dells, Lou Rawls, The Four Tops, Connie Francis, Lucy Arnez and others.
She continued her music copying for many artists, including Dianne Reeves, Allen Toussaint, Al Belletto, Dave Bartholomew, Eddie Bo, the (former) New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, John Cleary, Delfeayo Marsalis, Harry Connick, Sr. and many others. She also worked with Sybil Kein (sister of current Local 174-496 President “Deacon” John Moore) to arrange and orchestrate the “Didn’t He Ramble! Suite,” based on Ms. Kein’s original musical, “Didn’t He Ramble!”
In addition to performing with husband, Frank, in the duo MAYES2, Cindy Mayes has worked as office staff and Business Agent at the American Federation of Musicians, Local 174-496 in New Orleans since 2006. She formed a new club in December 2007, New Orleans Women in Music, designed to help New Orleans women in the music industry. She set up Constant Contact and Face Book for the office, created the E-Prelude newsletter, Musicians Corner and connected musicians to the Smiles Dental Program, Louisiana’s Music Ambassador Program, MusiCares, MusicianFest and other beneficial programs for musicians.
Kerry Brown grew up playing music in New Orleans’ Baptist churches and has been a professional drummer for 45 years.
He began his career on the road with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and has played with traditional New Orleans jazz legends Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Riley, and Danny Barker, as well as the Olympia, Excelsior, Treme, Brownsville, Panorama, and Royal Brass Bands and the Storyville Stompers. Kerry’s vast musical experiences include playing and touring with blues musicians B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Little Milton, Champion Jack Dupree, the Amazing Ironing Board Sam, and John Mooney & Bluesiana.
Kerry has played with modern jazz greats Jimmy McGriff & Hank Crawford Quartet, as well as legendary pianist McCoy Tyner. Kerry has been privileged to play with rock and roll icons the Allman Brothers and Jimmy Page, and the legendary country outlaw David Allan Coe. When he’s not producing and directing the Gretna Heritage Festival (which he’s been doing for 20 years) or touring, Kerry can sometimes be heard in New Orleans at the Preservation Hall.
Johnny Raymond Bassich was born and raised in New Orleans. He has loved and played music nearly his entire life as a Pianist, Vocalist, and Guitarist. Johnny studies Music at both Loyola and UNO, graduating from UNO in 1988 in Liberal Arts. A year later, he earned a certification in paralegal studies from University College at Tulane. Understanding legal issues brings an informed perspective to the board.
Johnny has played in many ensembles over the years and sang in the Opera chorus, and by day is a Table Games Dealer at Harrah’s New Orleans casino. John will be retiring from this job at the end of the year to dedicate himself to helping New Orleans Musicians as an executive board member. One year ago, John worked tirelessly with representatives of the AFL-CIO, the Federation of Musicians and many other prominent worker’s unions parent organization. He was attempting to organize table dealers at Harrah’s in order to demand better conditions and wages, which was met with heavy resistance from management.
Although the vote failed in the end, John remains committed to our Union values. As our newest board member, Johnny Bassich is looking forward to representing all of us in the fight to maintain fair and equitable working conditions for musicians everywhere.
Angela has accumulated over 36 productive years in the music industry during which time she has worked and performed with various local, national, and international recording artists of varying genres. Gospel choir vocal instruction was her primary focus for over two decades of her career. As an acoustic pianist and a vocalist, she has refined her craft and accrued a large domestic and international fan base.
Angela’s musicality and versatility has allowed her to be prominently featured in the capacities of lead and background vocalist as well as keyboardist for many recording artists both locally, nationally, and internationally. She currently works as a stage/studio musician for the Jamalar Agency of New Orleans, Louisiana. Also, she has been featured in numerous commercials and theatrical productions which not only highlighted her as a trained actress but showcased her musical talents. Angela is bilingual, but has also performed across the globe in several languages.
Angela has been an active member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 174-496 since 2009, has served on the Board of Directors since 2015 and has always been a strong advocate committed to raising industry standards and protecting the integrity, talents, and products of professional musicians.
Tracy was first introduced to musical instruments at the age of 5. He began playing the trumpet at age 7. He played his entire high school years as a member of the Saint Augustine Marching 100 and Concert and Jazz Bands. Tracy received his B.A.M. degree from Xavier University. He studied with the late John Fernandez, James Oakes and Malcolm Breda.
(1972-1975) Tracy performed on his first recording with Emmanuel Morris and the Velvet Funk Orchestra. He began performing with King Floyd, Jean Knight and Ernie K-Doe. He has also recorded and performed several times with Eddie Bo and Wardell Quezerque. He has also played with the bands Cool Enterprise, The Bold Souls and formed his own band Trac-One.
(1975-1995) Tracy performed with Archie Bell and the Drells, B.B. King, George Duke, The Four Tops, the O’Jays, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and the Dells. He was a regular player with The Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra, A Taste of New Orleans featuring Wanda Rouzan and David Lastie, Marva Wright, George Porter and Runnin’ Pardners, the late Juanita Brooks and Allen Toussaint. The mid 90’s also gave opportunity to perform with fellow Marva Wright bandmate – Marc Adams. The duo formed “The Adams/Griffin Project” and recorded their debut CD “Choices”. This partnership allowed both men to experiment and perform their own compositions giving way to solo CD projects individually. In 1999, He recorded his debut solo CD “Grace”. Having recorded more than 50 music and video projects to date, there is no doubt a legacy that has flourished in blessings.
Today, Tracy is still active with Allen Toussaint, Wanda Rouzan, Jimmy Maxwell, George Porter, just to name a few. He also performs occasionally with Ivan Neville, Cyril Neville and the Uptown Allstars, and New Orleans Piano great John Autin. Tracy joined the Vieux Carré Band in 1995. Tracy plays the trumpet and sings lead and back-up vocals.
Some the national acts Tracy has played with include, Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Dr John, Mary Mary, Cyndi Lauper, Jimmie Buffet, Paul Simon, Aaron Neville, Irma Thomas, Lenny Kravitz, Gino Vanelli and most recently, acted and performed in the final episode of the HBO series “Treme” along side of a host of previously mentioned New Orleans R&B stars and actor Wendell Pierce. Most recently, recording and performing with TV star Hugh Laurie on his debut recording “All These Things” he is still going strong.
A proud Life Time member of the American Federation of Musicians since 1957, Frank Mayes has spent his life as a
woodwind performer (flute, clarinet and saxophone), recording artist and college professor. He has served on the Executive Board of AFM Local 174-496 New Orleans since 2006 following Hurricane Katrina and has also served several years on the Recruitment and Education Committees.
A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Frank Mayes attended the University of North Texas in Denton where he began his professional career performing with the Joe Reichman Orchestra in Texas during college. Traveling throughout the state of Texas and beyond, he performed with acts and bands such as Phil Harris and Tex Beneke, among other jazz luminaries.
In 1966, after graduating with a B.M. in Music Education, he moved to Los Angeles, via Las Vegas and San Fransisco. From 1966-68, Frank studied woodwinds with renowned studio woodwind doubler, William (Bill) Green. During his twelve year tenure in Los Angeles, he performed, recorded and/or toured extensively with the Fraternity of Man, Delaney & Bonnie, Duane Allman, the Beach Boys, Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack and backed such acts as Little Richard, Mac Davis, the Supremes, Jerry Reed and countless others. He taught at the Sherman School of Music and Arts in Los Angeles with such luminaries as Milton Green, Steve Haberman and Morey Del. Frank then received his Master of Arts in Clarinet Performance from California State University, Northridge in 1977, having studied clarinet with Roy D’Antonio.
Frank moved back to North Carolina in 1978 to teach Woodwinds and Jazz History at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in Wilson. After meeting his wife, Cindy, a fellow woodwind doubler, they married in 1981 and lived in North Carolina for the next four years, teaching, performing and recording from Virginia to Florida.
Moving to New Orleans in 1985, they proceeded to perform and/or record with many local New Orleans and national musicians: Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Al Belletto, Dave Bartholomew, Sr., Charlie Brent, Kid Johnson, Luther Kent, “Gentleman” June Gardner, Ronnie Kole, “Lucious” Lloyd Lambert, the Temptations, Clark Terry, the O’Jay’s, the Four Tops, the Dells, Lucy Arnez, Lou Rawls, Rita Coolidge and others. For more than four years, Frank played tenor saxophone regularly on Bourbon Street with Frankie “Nola” Lacour.
As a college professor in New Orleans, Frank has taught Woodwinds, Woodwind Methods, Jazz in American Culture and Recording at Loyola University New Orleans (since 1990), Xavier University (1988-2007) and Delgado Community College (2006-2009). He is currently teaching at Loyola University and continues to perform and record music.
Composer and drummer Mayumi Shara, a unique cross cultural whirlwind of talent and energy, is a well-established pioneer female jazz drummer in Japan. This Tokyo native began her study of the fundamental classical rudiments with influences as varied as Motohiko Hino and Elvin Jones. Mayumi is a master of Japanese taiko drumming who is equally at home on a drum set playing modern jazz, funk, R&B, blues, and traditional jazz, all the while, equally as talented as she plays second-line snare with a New Orleans brass band.
The defining moment in Mayumi’s life came when she was told, “Opportunity presents itself to everyone equally. One must not only be aware of it—one must be prepared for it when it occurs in order to grasp it fully.” Eight years of devotion and hard work later, Mayumi studied to improve with Japanese jazz great Motohiko Hino, studied under the master percussionist of the Tokyo Municipal Philharmonic Orchestra, making a name for herself in the Tokyo jazz world and gaining the admiration and respect of her fellow musicians. In 1992, Mayumi joined Himiko, an all-female traditional Japanese drum group learning and playing wadaiko, and toured throughout Japan.
In 1998, Mayumi moved to the United States, establishing herself in New Orleans to prepare herself for the next professional level. In 2005, she graduated from Delgado College in New Orleans with a jazz studies major. Since then, she has been performing with many famous local New Orleans musicians such as Tuba Fats, Cyril Neville, Kermit Ruffins, Leroy Jones, Marva Wright, George Porter Jr., Little Freddie King, Big Chief Alfred Doucette, Marlon Jordan, etc. Mayumi has been the drummer for the James Rivers Movement for many years. She formed all Japanese female blues band “Pink Magnolias” in 2013. She also formed “Bluezy Pink Magnolias” with a master blues bassist Benny Turner who is a brother of late Freddie King and Eddie Van Shawn Jr. in 2014.
Mayumi has performed at many Festivals such as New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, French Quarter Festival, Pascagoula Blues Festival, as well as many others throughout the area. Mayumi Shara & Made To That features Taiko drums performed at the Sacred Music Festival in New Orleans.
She also creates original methods of solo performance, playing the Japanese traditional drum in New Orleans throughout the southern United States. Overall, she plays an active role in exposing the Japanese culture to the American culture through her creative musical endeavors.