The Marvellous Shaye Cohn: Happy Birthday

The marvellous Shaye Cohn

The marvellous Shaye Cohn

THE talented, beautiful Shaye Cohn of the New Orleans band, Tuba Skinny, has a birthday today 24 November, and I am sure all her myriad of fans world-wide wish her a very happy one!

Shaye’s musical heritage is impressive, and perhaps goes some way to explain her extraordinary talents as a musician (trumpet/cornet, piano, violin), arranger, composer, artist, and I suspect, quiet power which holds the band together.

Granddaughter of Al Cohn, saxophonist with Woody Herman etc. and Marilyn Moore, jazz singer, and daughter of Joe Cohn, guitarist etc., Shaye originally trained as a classical pianist. Where did she go wrong/right!

Here’s a sample of Shaye’s piano style – with Japanese band The New Orleans Naughties in 2010, playing “Lily of the Valley”.

Tuba Skinny have just wound up their latest tour of Australia with a 3 day stint at the Melbourne Festival. Number One member of the Australian Tuba Skinny Fan Club (if there was one) would have to be my good mate Bill Liddy, which he demonstrated by attending all 3 performances, standing in the front row each time, so close that he could read the tune list at Shaye’s feet. Nineteen songs each night with only two repeats.

Bill Liddy

Bill Liddy

He spent some time talking to members of the band – Shaye of course but also the incredible vocalist Erika Lewis, and Todd Burdick, the skinny tuba player whom he met on Princes Bridge last year as he and Shaye were walking to their gig at the Spiegeltent,Todd with his tuba over his shoulder!

When Shaye asked Bill which of the three shows he enjoyed the best, he was hard put to choose, bu did nominate their version of “Willie the Weeper” as the best he’d heard.

The Skinnies have just released their latest CD “Owl Call Blues”, a copy of which Bill bought for me, signed by Shaye. How good is that!! The title track is a joint composition by Shaye and Erika Lewis and is available via the Tuba Skinny Blogspot. Click here for details.

Ivan Huke

Ivan Huke

The British equivalent of Bill Liddy must be cornet player Ivan Huke from Nottingham.

Ivan has a blog called “Playing Traditional Jazz” which is very well worth following since it is written from the musician’s point of view rather than the devoted fan. He is a mad, fanatical devotee of Tuba Skinny and of Shaye Cohn in particular. Read what he said about Shaye recently. His comments on Owl Call Blues are also worth a look.

To close, here Tuba Skinny plays “Dallas Rag” at their usual stomping ground in Royal Street, New Orleans. Wait for the piano solo! Magical isn’t too big a word for it!
Happy happy birthday Shaye!

12 responses to “The Marvellous Shaye Cohn: Happy Birthday

  1. Geoff Ettridge

    Planning a trip to New Orleans just to see Tuba Skinny which I have just discovered. Just too good to be true. The best ever.

  2. It’s difficult to me to say anything after previous good remarks but I feel a strange state when I heard so perfect musik and song of tuba skinny. I’m a big fan of all together but specially shaye by her muscal capacities and Erika by her voice very well adapted to New Orleans Jazz. Each day I hear one or several titles of you.
    Is it possible to know when you will come in France?
    I kiss all of you


  3. Pingback: Marvellous (2014) | Home Art

  4. Shaye is perhaps the greatest cornet player since Louis Armstrong, and, allowing for the advantage of modern recording techniques, she has a gentler and smoother style than he did.

  5. Happy Birthday, Shaye. I am an ex-banjo player of long ago. We tried to play New Orleans jazz but , compared with you and Tuba Skinny, our efforts were ordinary at best. Your music is sublime and brings back great memories for me. Long may it continue and I shall collect all your CD’s eventually. And, if you can make it to UK any time, I and my old mates will be there.

  6. J’ai tapé “new orleans street band”, et après avoir fait le tri, je me suis concentré sur “tuba skinny””. Whaou !! Tous les musiciens sont bons (super whashboard) mais Shave Cohn m’a emballée. Mon gout pour le vieux style ne m’avait pas trompé. Et en plus elle joue du piano ! J’ai 77 ans , et je suis sidéré par sa musique et son halure décontractée. De tout cœur merci !

  7. Seppo Saloheimo-Berner

    Hello Shaye. Happy birthday on Tuesday. I like you.
    Seppo S-B

  8. It was my privilege to know Dave Cohn, Al’s father and devoted fan, to present Al Cohn at several venues in Pennsylvania, thoroughly enjoy his humor and honor his memory and to work with Joe Cohn in recording sessions for Chiaroscuro Records, in concert, on ships and at Jazz Parties. The latest in this lineage, Shaye, was a child when we met but I am not surprised she has found her own ways to express her genetic creativity and imagination. May she be granted good health and a long happy life making the world a more interesting place. Andrew Sordoni

  9. Allan MacDougall

    I have all five of tubaskinny’s CDS sent to Scotland (The best part of the UK)
    from New Orleans. I relise it is late but happy Birthday Shaye.

  10. WOW! What a talented young lady!

  11. Hi Jane, loved your blog on Tuba Skinny, esp Shaye and Erica who exude the very best of our favourite music. I took along a camera and made a little record of Fri night, several numbers incl Bill Liddy grooving in the front stalls. Will send a DVD copy if you give an address. Did those energetic dancers appear every night or was the Fri night a one off? It was all sensational, am so
    happy Tuba Skinny have done this 4th trip down under.

    • I’d love a DVD! But realize it’s a bit much to ask. However, can I say what a talented person Shaye is. I loved her grandfather’s jazz and have got a number of his CDs. Looks as if his talent is alive and well! Lucky us!

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