Old St. Louis Levee Band.
25 years later and still hanging in there
The five-piece OLD ST. LOUIS LEVEE BAND struts with two brass horns. Pat Arana's trombone leads forth with a melody, and David "Red" Lehr's sousaphone answers like a tailgate trombone or a trumpet or a clarinet or a flute with the hiccups, at the same time building a terrific bass line.
The rhythm section supplies a cushion of driving sound with Bobby Grimm's steady rhythm and brilliant single-string picking on the tenor banjo, Rick Schaumberger's swinging, impelling drums, and the no-holds-barred barrel house piano and vocals of Jean Kittrell.
Pat Arana - trombone
Bobby Grimm - tenor banjo
Jean Kittrell - piano
David "Red" Lehr - sousaphone
Rick Schaumberger - drums
The band steps high with street marches, sanctifies souls with hand-clapping spirituals, wraps up toe-tapping, banjo-picking minstrel tunes to a T, plays those ever-loving, heart-breaking blues, and feasts on the jazz classics of W. C. Handy, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong.
Featured for thirteen years (1978-1990) on Saturday nights aboard the Lt. Robert E. Lee, a restaurant/lounge moored on the Mississippi River just below the Arch in downtown St. Louis, the band has also performed in jazz festivals, university concerts, private clubs, and conventions throughout the Midwest.
They appeared in Pop Concerts, Richard Hayman conducting, with the ST LOUIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA and with the HONOLULU SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA in Hawaii. They performed in Powell Symphony Hall on a dual billing with the KINGSTON TRIO.
In 1990 they made a 10-day Mediterranean cruise, followed by a 10-day tour of Italy, with Ed Zimbrick's TENTH AVENUE JAZZ BAND. In 2003 they played on Carol Neumann's Twentieth Anniversary Caribbean cruise.
The original male personnel of this group has remained the same (and each still married to his first wife!!) for 30 years. One addition is Steve Lilley on cornet (he's also the leader of the ST. LOUIS STOMPERS).
Jean Kittrell retired from the band in July 2008. Mary Ann Schulte is her distinguished replacement as pianist.
Lt Robert E Lee Saloon - OSLLB home 1978 - 1990
OSLLB travels in style - 1998