Doreen Ketchens is a very talented jazz clarinetist from New Orleans. Born on October 3rd, 1996, she mainly performs Dixieland, which is sometimes referred to as hot jazz or traditional jazz, a style of jazz based on the music that developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century.
Not only is Doreen a talented musician, but she is also a pioneer for women in the music scene around New Orleans. She is one of the first female bandleaders and musical educators in and around New Orleans. She performs at local concert halls and music festivals with her band, Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans. The band also perform in the French Quarter of New Orleans, at a Dixieland’s tradition in the Royal Street Performing Arts Zone.
Doreen and her band’s wonderful passion and skills are loved by many in the local area. When they perform on the streets, they always draw in a large crowd of spectators. The beautiful clarinet tone travels through the streets, bouncing off the building and walls, providing everyone in the area the knowledge that the band is playing!
In the video below, you can watch a brilliant performance of “When The Saints Go Marching In” with Doreen leading up the famous melody and her band providing the backing.
Doreen has performed for some very notable people in her musical career. She has played music for four US presidents; Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush Sr.
Her commitment and passion for the music she plays has resulted in her being widely considered as a cultural ambassador of New Orleans traditional music. She has also landed the nickname, “Lady Louis” due to the incredibly high notes she manages to hit and sustain when playing her instrument.
Ketchens performed her first-ever public jazz gig back in 1987 at the Republican National Convention. At the time she ran an eatery called “Doreen’s Sweets”. It was after this performance that she assembled her band and started making money playing on the streets of New Orleans.