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Lionel Ferbos, Oldest New Orleans Jazz Artist, Dies at 103

  • VOA News

Dixieland jazz musician Lionel Ferbos performs at his 102nd birthday party at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe in New Orleans, July 17, 2013.

Dixieland jazz musician Lionel Ferbos performs at his 102nd birthday party at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe in New Orleans, July 17, 2013.

A trumpeter believed to be the United States' oldest working jazz musician has died just days after his 103rd birthday.

Lionel Ferbos was a legend in the southern U.S. city of New Orleans where jazz is a way of life.

He began his career in the 1920s and became a familiar sound and face in the city's numerous clubs and bars, where his skills were always in demand.

Ferbos also toured Europe with a band he helped found, played in New York, and shared the stage with such stars as Maria Muldaur and Bonnie Raitt.

Ferbos continued to play even when he was too frail to hold up his trumpet, blowing into the instrument while a family member held it steady.

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