A Dixieland Christmas

By Gus Bode

The days of the traditional Christmas caroling are over; well, at least for one night in Carbondale.

For their annual holiday concert, Shryock Auditorium presents New Orleans’ Dukes of Dixieland.

Dixieland is a style of jazz that originated in New Orleans and contains a small group of instruments including the trumpet, clarinet, piano and drums. The Dukes formed in the birthplace of jazz: New Orleans.

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New Orleans’ Dukes of Dixieland at 7:30 p.m., Friday in Shryock Auditorium. Tickets are $27, $21 for senior citizens 60 and older and children 15 and younger. Order tickets at ticketmaster.com/shryock, call 866-646-8849 or visit the SIU Ticket Office in the Arena, the Student Center Ticket Office, Schnucks and Kroger (east) in Carbondale.

The Dukes’ manager, John Shoup, has been directing the band since 1974. After the deaths of the brothers in the original band, Shoup took over the group.

Since their “rebirth” in 1974, the Dukes have performed all across the country, from the Espoo Jazz Festival in Finland to the JVC Jazz Festival in New York City.

The group has also been featured on the TV show “Nashville Now” and have released several CD’s, which can be purchased on the groups Web site, www.dukesofdixieland.com.

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After subleasing a rooftop nightclub in New Orleans, Shoup opened “Dukes’ Place” in the French Quarter. He later opened a nightclub on Bourbon Street. Shoup said he had grown tired of the nightclub business, and the Dukes accepted the offer to play aboard the Steamboat Natchez.

When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the steamboat was able to sail out of harm’s way. Soon after, they boarded the Steamboat Natchez to raise money for the Katrina relief fund. Despite Hurricane Katrina’s wrath, the Dukes continue to play aboard the steamboat on a limited basis.

Shoup said the lack of people in New Orleans is what forced the Dukes to start touring.

“We need tourists. Nobody comes down here to this great party town,” Shoup said.

Richard Taylor, the leader and drummer of the band, said the audience will get a dose of the South.

“It’s New Orleans-style jazz. We paint a musical picture of our city,” he said.

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