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Banu Gibson

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During an era when most female singers who interpret music from the 1920s come across as dated "red hot mamas," camp, or satirical, Banu Gibson practically stands alone. She performs music from the 1920s and '30s creatively, but within the boundaries of the idiom, giving fresh life and excitement to forgotten tunes and swinging hard with her New Orleans Hot Jazz Orchestra. Growing up in Hollywood, FL, Gibson was trained as a dancer although she studied voice as a child with an opera singer. She gained early experience playing in a Miami club opposite Phil Napoleon (1967-1968), toured with Your Father's Mustache (1969-1972), and appearing at Disneyland in the Class of '27 (1972-78). She moved to New Orleans in 1973, commuting to Los Angeles and working in New Orleans doing choreography and directing. Gibson learned how to play rhythm banjo and on April 1, 1981, put together her six-piece band, which improved steadily throughout the 1980s and became a popular attraction at traditional jazz festivals. Although Banu Gibson has recorded for World, Jazzology, and Stomp Off, her most rewarding recordings are for her own Swing Out label and those rank with the top classic jazz of the era. ~ Scott Yanow

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October 24, 1947 in Dayton, OH

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s