Tom Wiggins

Musician

I formed Saint Gabriels Celestial Brass Band back in 1990 when I discovered that there was no band in the San Francisco Bay Area that played authentic New Orleans Jazz Funeral and Marching band Mardi Gras music. We have been fortunate to tour European Jazz & Blues Festivals since 1996. and have performed with most of the top name Jazz and Blues Artists in the music industry. It has been my intention to re-instate the Jazz Funerals that launched Traditional Jazz & Gospel music back in the early 1900s on the streets of New Orleans. We are not only a fun band for everyone, but a moving mobile Cultural Presentation, opening almost every show with a New Orleans Funeral entrance and exit the stage with a traditional Second Line procession as well. We have done this in many places on tour as well in countries like Spain, Andorra, Austria, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Den Hague, Italy, Israel,Russia, Finland, and many cities in the USA including Los Angeles,Sacramento, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas,NV. Reno/Sparks, NV. Colorado Springs, CO. We regularly play Conventions, Trade Shows, and Corporate events in San Francisco, as well as Marches and Rallies of all kinds, and play about 50 New Orleans Funerals and at least fifty Weddings every year. We try to keep our repertoire eclectic and play a great selection of Traditional Gospel, Blues, and Jazz from all genres and styles. We play Good old Gospel Songs for Saints and Sinners alike and they both love the high energy and infectious rhythms. Since 1998 we have also operated a Jazz for Kids program and do performances in elementary, Middle and High schools when requested an present an educational introduction to New Orleans Jazz along with a performance and enlist the kids in a Second Line procession as well. Often after performing at a school program we will stop and perform at a Senior living facility for people who can;t go out and enjoy live music any longer, and we invite our International hosts to set up performances at senior homes when on tour as well, which we do at no additional charge. We patterned our style after the Olympia and Pinstripe brass Bands in New Orleans, and also include a lot of the more modern Brass Band music of ReBirth and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and have had a lot of fun performing on festival bills with them as well. Some of our original members have unfortunately died and some of the others have incurred medical situations that prohibit them from playing in the Parades or Marching performances any longer, but we still invite them to play on the concerts with a stationary situation. We keep about 30 full time members because we often get multiple engagements at the same time in different cities and can easily divide up and uniform up and play three events or more at the same time if needed. We have also successfully created a hybrid genre of music fusing Brass Band music and Cajun Zydeco which has become very popular in California and drove audiences wild when we toured with it in Italy on outdoor festivals. We call this our Boogaloo Zydeco Show.

Where are you based?

San Francisco, CA

How long have you been doing this work?

We have been doing this kind of music continuously for 30 years.