One of the purest soloists in traditional jazz, Joe Darensbourg got some early training from New Orleans great Alphonse Picou. After playing with local groups, and traveling with a medicine show and a circus band, Darensbourg settled in Los Angeles and worked with Mutt Carey's Liberty Syncopators. He worked in Seattle from 1929 to 1944, working on cruise lines, playing in after-hours clubs and roadhouses, and backing several non-jazz entertainers. Darensbourg resumed playing jazz in 1944, in a traditional group with Johnny Wittwer. When he returned to Los Angeles, he recorded with Kid Ory and worked briefly with R&B bandleader Joe Liggins. From 1947 to 1953 he worked solely with Kid Ory, then spent the rest of his career in traditional ensembles, working with such musicians as Gene Mayl, Teddy Buckner, and Louis Armstrong's All-Stars. Darensbourg also led his own groups, and had a hit with the song "Yellow Dog Blues." He toured with the Legends of Jazz from 1973 to 1975.