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New Orleans Trumpeter “Doc” Paulin Dies at 100

Ernest “Doc” Paulin, New Orleans’ oldest traditional jazz musician, died Nov. 20th at the home of his daughter in Marrero, Louisiana. A trumpeter and bandleader, he was 100. Doc Paulin’s Brass Band was one of the most popular traditional bands in New Orleans.

Paulin, who had been playing since the 1920s, was born into a family of musicians: Paulin’s father played the accordion and an uncle was a trombonist. Paulin passed that tradition down to his own children: One of New Orleans’ most popular contemporary bands, the Paulin Brothers Band, includes six of his sons (Paulin had 10 sons and three daughters in all).

Doc Paulin was born June 22, 1907 in Wallace, Louisiana, into a Creole-French speaking family. He began playing music at dances at age seven years organized the Doc Paulin Dixieland Jazz Band in the early ’20s. he was still playing in parades into his nineties and gave his final performance at the 2004 Jazz & Heritage Festival. Paulin and his band were featured in the 1978 New Orleans music documentary Always for Pleasure. Among the alumni of his bands is Dr. Michael White, a well-known jazz clarinetist.

Originally Published