“Dirtyvich” to play tonight at the Maple Leaf Bar, 1/8

Drummer Johnny Vidacovich and the good folks at the uptown saloon have been known to use some creative names for the various groups of musicians who join him on his ever-evolving Thursday night gig. Previous favorites include “Dumpstavich,” which featured Ivan Neville and Tony Hall from Dumpstaphunk.

This evening, Dirtyvich will feature three two members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, sousaphonist Kirk Joseph and baritone saxophonist Roger Lewis, along with former longtime drummer Terence Higgins. For fans of drummers and horns, this is going to be a night to remember.

Vidacovich has mentored numerous members of the tight-knit community of players here in New Orleans. He has also been featured quite a few times on the same bill with his protégés. I remember many memorable occasions with Galactic drummer Stanton Moore and Vidacovich throwing down on tandem drum kits.

Joseph and Lewis are founding members of the long running brass band, which revolutionized the genre back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Check out the above video that was filmed at the sorely missed Central City landmark, the Glass House by pioneering documentarian, Alan Lomax in 1982.

Higgins was a member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band for many years going back to the beginning of the era when they replaced the standard brass band two-drummer setup with a single trap drummer. He’s been doing solo work with his group, Swampgrease since leaving the Dozen.

I expect lots of songs from the Dirty Dozen’s extensive catalog as well as some free improvising as is the norm on Thursday nights at the Maple Leaf Bar. While we’re thinking improvising, I say get rid of the generic “The Trio” moniker, which is used most weeks, and get creative with a new name for every combo of players.


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