“In Memoriam A.H.H.” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Clyde Kerr Jr
Trumpeter, composer and influential music teacher Clyde Kerr Jr., whose list of students included Nicholas Payton, Terence Blanchard, Irvin Mayfield, Christian Scott and Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews died in August 2010. He was born in 1943.
His grandson Drew indicated that Clyde Kerr, Jr. led the annual Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp, of which he was a founding faculty member, two weeks prior to his death.
A native of Treme and graduate of St. Augustine High School and Xavier University, Kerr has played with many national and local performers including the Jackson Five, Aretha Franklin, The O’Jays, Tony Bennett, Jackie Wilson, Allen Toussaint, Nancy Wilson, Dr. John and the Neville Brothers. Most recently, he participated in the Satchmo Summer Jazz Camp.
Kerr instructed middle school, high school, and college students in the uniqueness of New Orleans music. His 16 years teaching at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) were the most notable. Students he has taught include Nicholas Payton, Terence Blanchard, Irvin Mayfield, Christian Scott, and Wynton and Brandford Marsalis, all of which whom are esteemed musicians today. Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Christian Scott have recently been counted among his hundreds of students. After Hurricane Katrina he retired.
Growing up, Kerr’s father gave him a trumpet that he didn’t care much about playing. It took him eight years to develop a passion that would influence his life as well as others. In 2009, Kerr released his first and only CD of original compositions, This Is Now!, words he spoke repeatedly throughout his years of teaching music. He assembled a group that included Kidd Jordan, Brian Quezergue, Sullivan Fortner, David Mooney, Jonathan Bloom, Herman LeBeaud and Herlin Riley and created a joyful, spirit-filled collection that celebrates the city’s recovery.
Alvin Batiste, Sr.
“Legendary Pioneer of Jazz”
November 7, 1932 – May 6, 2007
Alvin Batiste is one of the most distinctive modern jazz clarinetist of his generation. A music master, composer, arranger, educator and performer, Batiste is best known for taking the music to the next level while at the same time, devoting his life to preparing the next generation of jazz musicians. He was a music pioneer who contributed to every music genre.
“Bat” was born in New Orleans in 1932, and is among a few artists who have created a modern approach to improvising on the clarinet. His many accomplishments include being the first Black high school student to receive an invitation to perform with the New Orleans Philharmonic. Batiste performed Mozart’s Concerto with the orchestra. He later earned a Master’s degree of Music in clarinet performance and composition from Louisiana State University, a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Southern University in Baton Rouge and is the author of a book entitled “The Root Progression System: The Fundamentals of African American Music.”
Bat joined the Jazz Camp faculty in 1995 at the invitation of Kidd Jordan, the program’s Artistic Director, Bat’s long time friend and brother in law. Alvin was a founding faculty member and contributed to the success of the program providing instruction and master classes in clarinet and overseeing large ensembles.
His former students include many successful jazz musicians, composers, recording artists and educators. A partial list includes Randy Jackson (American Idol), Antonio York, Roland Guerin, Troy Davis, Donald Edwards, George Fontenette, Herman Jackson, Henry Butler, Branford Marsalis, Kent Jordan, Marlon Jordan, Donald Harrison, Jr., Chris Severin, Willie Singleton, Herlin Riley, Reginald Veal, Yolanda Robertson Windsay, Ernest Jackson, Margaret Valet, Jonathan Bloom, Coco York, Wes Anderson, Ed Perkins, Julius Farmer, Dennis Nelson, Kirk Ford, Al Rodriguez, Charlie Singleton, Monty Seward, Betsy Braud, Michael Ward, Raymond Harris, John Gray, Quamon Fowler, Maurice Brown, Woddie Douglas and many others.
Alvin spent time in Los Angeles in 1956 playing with Ornette Coleman and received international attention after appearing on two recordings with Cannonball Adderly. Alvin also performed with the Ray Charles Orchestra, Kidd Jordan, Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste, Ed Blackwell, Larry Darnell, Joe Jones, Smiley Lewis, Joe Robichaux, Guitar Slim, Marlon Jordan, George Williams, the American Jazz Quintet and others.
His last CD “Marsalis Music Honors Alvin Batiste” with Branford Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Russell Malone, Lawrence Fields and Ricardo Rodriguez is one of his best works. Few musicians are more deserving of honors than Alvin Batiste, he has been a central figure in shaping modern music for the past half century, the recordings provide a rare glimpse of a giant who spent far too much of his career out of the limelight. His life and contributions impacted many professional and budding musicians.
Kimberly “Kim” Carbo
August 29, 1960 – July 24, 2004
Born August 29, 1960, Kim graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. She was an innovator, a leader, and an artistic force, for it was Kim who convinced the City of New Orleans to create its first office of Film and Video. She was a writer, poet, administrator, student and lover of music and film. She worked for two New Orleans mayors – Sidney Barthelemy and Marc H. Morial.
Her work brought jobs and boosted the tourism industry by showcasing New Orleans to the worldwide audience of music lovers. Kimberly facilitated the filming of Dead Man Walking, The Pelican Brief, Kingfish, Blaze, Interview with a Vampire, TNT’s The Big Easy, MTV’s Real World TV series and many other feature film, commercials and music videos.
Kim was responsible for many inaugural initiatives. Kim co-produced the first national marketing campaign of New Orleans to the film world, the first New Year’s Eve Celebration to be covered by major television and cable networks and the first to generate millions of dollars of economic impact to the city’s economy from film and video.
Kim gave Jazz Camp its name in 1995 and acquired a showcase for Jazz Camp students on the NBC Today Show. She did nothing small nor would she ever not go to the highest limits of achievement. She was a renaissance woman.
In recognition of her work in the arts, she was named a Sweet-Art by the Contemporary Arts Center and a role model by the YWCA.
Jazz Camp’s tribute to Kimberly is a composition written by our artistic director, Kidd Jordan entitled “For Kim” which is performed each year by our young budding musicians.
To know Kim was to love her. She brightened the lives of those she touched during her brief 43 years.
The world was a better place while Kim was here.