World's Only All-Female Brass Band: Leaving A Legacy

EntertainmentMusicArts and CultureStevie WonderCyndi LauperRebirth Brass Band (music group)

Ten talented members of the Original Pinettes grabbed their instruments and started playing songs from Stevie Wonder and Cyndi Lauper. They were in their zone, having fun and playing their instruments from the trombone to the tuba.

These women range in age from 16 to the late 30s, all women with a passion for music, all from New Orleans. They claim to be the only all-female brass band in the world and twice a month they check on Google. Their picture always comes up.

"I mean it’s different types of female bands out there but it’s not what we’re doing,  it’s not the brass band improvising other music, just doing what we’re doing, you know just free," said Christie Jourdain who plays snare drum.

The band was formed in 1991 by Jeffrey Herbert at St. Mary's Academy. Currently, he is band director at St. Augustine. It was initially formed to help raise some extra money and teach some discipline, but over the past 21 years the band has stayed together and even flourished despite setbacks like Hurricane Katrina. Last year the band travelled to Turkey to perform in a festival.

"We’ve come so far. We’ve been through so much together and it’s just like we’re here. We’re here to stay now. We’re not going nowhere. We’re not letting to nobody or nothing get in our way. We’re just moving up," said tuba player Janine Waters.

The youngest member is Jazz Henry. The 16 year old has music in her blood. She says her uncle is in the Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band. She's still in high school, but somehow manages to juggle getting good grades and playing all the gigs with the band.

"It's hard but I like what I do so I have to go to school, maintain my grades, maintain what I do with the band," Henry said.

The teen has lots of "second moms" looking after her, but they're also looking out for other young women in a male dominated arena.

"It's hard to get into a male band. You know there always going to look at you, and I hope that one day gender won't be an issue," said band member Natasha Harris. 

The Original Pinettes want to keep moving forward and leave a legacy for up and coming female musicians.



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