A respected New Orleans clarinetist, Emile Barnes made relatively few recordings during his career but can be heard on sessions for Folkways in 1951 and 1952 (which were issued in the '70s on LPs) and for Jazzology during 1961 and 1963. He was the brother of Polo Barnes and learned from the early clarinetists including Lorenzo Tio, Jr. and Alphonse Picou. Barnes worked with Buddy Petit and Chris Kelly (the latter throughout the 1920s). He spent much of the 1930s and '40s outside of music, but by the late '40s was gigging with Kid Howard, and he remained fairly active in the 1950s and '60s.
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