Doc Paulin's Jazz Funeral
Jazz pioneer Doc Paulin, 100, dies
Posted by The Times-Picayune November 20, 2007 10:17PM

By Leslie Williams
Staff writer

The city's oldest traditional jazz musician, whose surname was synonymous with New Orleans music, died Tuesday morning at the home of his daughter Elizabeth Powell in Marrero. Ernest "Doc" Paulin was 100.

A native of Wallace, Mr. Paulin was a leader of dance and brass bands in New Orleans.

"The majority of his work was for social aid and pleasure clubs, church parades and funerals," said Michael White, a professor of African-American music at Xavier University. "On Mardi Gras, he performed at the Corner Club."

The Irish Channel social club hired Mr. Paulin's band to direct a second-line. For years, he played in the Metairie St. Patrick's and St. Joseph's Day parades.

His longevity was legend, performing in New Orleans since the 1920s. For many years he led Doc Paulin's Brass Band, one of the more popular jazz bands in the city.

"He embodied the spirit of the New Orleans jazz tradition in his manners and his trumpet playing and leadership. And for many decades, especially the 1950s through the 1980s, he trained dozens of musicians in his band," recalled White, a clarinetist who started his musical career with Mr. Paulin's band in 1975.

His band was featured in the award-winning film "Always for Pleasure," a film about New Orleans culture.

"His band was like a school, in a sense, for New Orleans traditional jazz," White said.

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