New Orleans' Oldest Jazz Musician Lionel Ferbos Dies at 103

New Orleans' Oldest Jazz Musician Lionel Ferbos Dies at 103

The oldest working jazz musician in New Orleans passed away on Saturday, July 19 at his home in the city.

New Orleans musician Lionel Ferbos passed away Saturday, July 19 after celebrating his 103rd birthday on Thursday. The jazz trumpeter died peacefully at his home in the Crescent City surrounded by friends and family.

Ferbos was considered the oldest working jazz musician in New Orleans, Louisiana. He started learning how to play trumpet at 15. His parents initially disapproved of his choice of wind instrument because he had asthma as a child.

He was famous for his ability to blend in an ensemble and play intricate harmonic parts. He toured with the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra and led the French Quarter's Palm Court Jazz Band. He remained active as a musician even after his 100th birthday. He last performed in public this March.

Survivors include daughter Sylvia, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.



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