Apr 22, 2016
Doreen Ketchens wails on clarinet on a street in New Orleans. Photo used with permission from http://doreensjazz.com/[/caption] Walking down Royal Street on a sunny afternoon, you are very likely to find Doreen Ketchens wailing on her clarinet, leading an enthusiastic band and delighting passersby with her vibrant personality and bold, joyful sound.
Doreen has been called "Queen Clarinet," "the female Louis Armstrong," and “Lady Louie.” She has a quick smile, an easygoing laugh and is always ready to entertain. She also has a dedication to promoting New Orleans culture and music. Doreen and her family (including husband Lawrence, a tuba, trombone and piano player) have traveled the world and performed for numerous U.S. presidents. Their daughter Dorian is only thirteen but is already a world-traveled jazz drummer. Music is part of this family.
In this episode of Confetti Park, Doreen shares a childhood memory… one about how music changed her life one unforgettable day at school.
"The teacher would ask one question. If you knew it, you passed, if you didn't you failed.... I was desteined for failure. I looked to the sky and said, 'Oh God, if you get me out of this, I will do anything.' About two minutes later the principal came on the loudspeaker and she said,'Anyone interested in joining the band, report to the band room immediately! And there I went!"