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Lionel Ferbos, New Orleans jazz musician, dies at 103

By Kyle Johnson,

Just two days after turning 103, jazz musician Lionel Ferbos passed away at his New Orleans home on Saturday.

He died while his friends and family gathered around him, Regina Dillings, a family friend, said, according to The Associated Press.

Despite being over 100 years old, the jazz trumpeter had remained active in the music scene until last year, when his health required that he retire, WWLTV reports.

Despite his declining health, Ferbos was still able to attend and enjoy his birthday celebration at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe. "I'm thankful that I lived to be this age," he said earlier in the week, "because very few people see that."

Ferbos was a regular performer all across New Orleans, often seen playing at the various festivals, including the French Quarter Festival, Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Satchmo Summer Fest.

He was born in the Seventh Ward and began playing jazz when he was a teenager. He began performing with various jazz bands as he got older, playing in such venues as the Pelican Club, New Orleans Country Club and others before signing up with Captain John Handy's Louisiana Shakers in 1932.

He would continue to play jazz throughout the rest of his life, helping to found the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, but never releasing too many recordings early in his life.

Ferbos is survived by his daughter, three grandchildren, plenty of nieces and nephews and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Marguerite Gilyot, passed away in 2009.

 
 

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