Theogene Baquet

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Not only is Theogene Baquet one of the truly earlist major musical influences on the New Orleans music scene, he goes back so far that even his children, clarinetists George, Achille and Harold "Hal"…
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Not only is Theogene Baquet one of the truly earlist major musical influences on the New Orleans music scene, he goes back so far that even his children, clarinetists George, Achille and Harold "Hal" Baquet, are considered some of the earliest influences on this city's scene as well. George Baquet is considered the first major jazz player on the clarinet, an instrument he learned from papa Theogene Baquet, who also played cornet. The senior Baquet was the first leader of the legendary Excelsior Brass Band and was Bunk Johnson's father in law as well--researchers into this city's jazz history, including Ken Burns, have been silent on which relationship caused the elder Baquet more tension.

Theogene Baquet also conducted the Lyre Club Symphonic Orchestra, sometimes mistaken as a music group for the chronically dishonest. It was actually a concert band organized by left-handed violinist John Robichaux in 1897. Baquet has been described as being both a very good, and very strict conductor, presiding over repertoire which included classical pieces such as "Light Cavalry". Many historic New Orleans players were in and out of this ensemble, including several of the reed-chomping Baquet clan.