The Jumbo Shrimp Jazz Band started out the best way a traditional New Orleans jazz band could: in the streets. What began as a traditional jazz busking group has grown and evolved for over a decade into one of the most exciting bands playing on Frenchmen Street today. Some call their style “progressive traditional jazz”( a term as fitting as their contradictory namesake), but whatever you want to call it, you can definitely say that it’s fresh, high-energy, accessible, danceable, and just plain fun. 

Bandleader/trombonist/vocalist Colin Myers started Jumbo Shrimp as a Royal Street busking group in the hot, slow summer of 2009. There were just four band members at first – trombone, banjo, bass, and drums. They quickly developed a chemistry based on their playful, exuberant approach to the music. It didn’t take long for club gigs to follow. They soon began playing residencies at Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub on Bourbon Street and then at The Spotted Cat Music Club on Frenchmen Street. 

The driving force behind Jumbo Shrimp has always been Colin’s musical vision, which is less about creating a particular sound and more about gathering together musicians who are badasses in their craft, but who also like to goof off with each other. Who, in fact, prefer to goof off than to play authentically in any style. Every song has been given wild and unique arrangements, all of which were developed organically over time at their live shows. Colin feels his role is to give everyone a vehicle to do that in the songs, and to hold the space where the musicians can feel free to be their most joyous, exuberant, wacky, and original selves. 

The current lineup has been solid for 6 years now, and that playful, exuberant chemistry has solidified into something truly of its own: a party band that roots itself in New Orleans jazz, but at a moment’s notice can fly off into early New Orleans R&B, surf rock, funk, gypsy swing, punk, pop, Caribbean music, TV theme songs, commercial jingles, or whatever suits the moment. Audiences love the energy, the accessibility, the danceability, and the band always has a blast!

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