Saxophonist John Doheny was born in Seattle Washington in 1953 but has spent much of his adult life in Canada, primarily in Vancouver and Toronto. After early experiences accompanying strippers in bars and cabarets he became a professional R&B sideman in the late 1970s, touring and recording with artists both prominent and obscure. In 1991 he returned to Vancouver and began a program of intense musical study, both in academe (Vancouver Community College, the University of British Columbia) and in the more informal area of performance. He asserts that "all human intercourse is either an opportunity to learn or to teach. Everything that I know about jazz performance (to the extent that I know anything at all) I owe to those players, teachers and students who have suffered to share the bandstand and the teaching studio with me." Since 2003, Mr. Doheny has been a permanent resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, but makes every effort to spend summers in Canada because "it's too damn hot down here then."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Random Shutterbuggery.

I've got a bunch of photos that I had Jeff, the guy who manages my website (www.johndoheny.com) load up a while back, and since I've never publicly posted them anywhere I thought I'd put them on here. They were all taken by my wife Darlene.

The three color shots are all from 2005 Mardi Gras Day. The float is from the Zulu parade. The pantheon of Zulu personalities are all spoofs of pretentious white officialdom found in other old line Krewes (and caucasian society in general), in this case, the "Big Shot." The band on the truck bed was taken about 7:30 a.m. Carnival Day behind our old place in the 13th ward. The Jefferson City Buzzards social aid and pleasure club was right over our back fence, and this band was part of the ructions they were perpetrating that morning. The Buzzards are currently in some kind of Old Europe phase (they used to parade in drag), which offers the early morning hallucinatory spectacle of a bunch of beefy Irish and Italian guys marching around dressed up like Henry the VIII, while passing out doubloons and paper flowers to women in exchange for a kiss on the cheek. Darlene commented later that she'd heard two bands and been kissed by three strange man, all before eight o'clock in the morning.

The guys in the grass skirts are Zulus. Although it's hard to tell I think those are all black men behind the black-face, which would make them black guys pretending to be white guys pretending to be black guys. There is no such thing as cognitive dissonance in New Orleans.

The black and white shot is the only one not taken on Fat Tuesday 2005. It's from about a month later. Darlene and I were sitting around eating dinner, when we suddenly heard a band. After you've lived in New Orleans a while your nervous system becomes hard-wired to this kind of thing, so we immediately jumped up and ran outside to try and find the parade.

It turned out it was our neighbor, Miss Barbara, throwing a party in honor of her birthday. That's her in the forground with the paper money pinned to her t-shirt, walking towards the camera. She's saying "y'all come on in and get something to eat." Behind her, up on the porch, is the Stooges Brass Band.

I love this town.

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