Brief Band Bios

This year, we welcome two new additions to our lineup: Kris Tokarski and Tuba Skinny!

Kris Tokarski, a talented jazz pianist, is currently thriving and in high demand in New Orleans, the country, and abroad. He has performed at notable jazz festival and venues including the Umbria Winter Jazz Festival, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, French Quarter Festival, Snug Harbor, The Jazz Corner and the Green Mill. Kris has had the pleasure of sharing the bandstand with Evan Christopher, Duke Heitger, Tim Laughlin, Hal Smith, Andy Schumm and many others.

Formed in 2009, Tuba Skinny has steadily evolved from a loose collection of street musicians into a solid ensemble dedicated to bringing the traditional New Orleans sound to audiences around the world. Drawing on a wide range of musical influences—from spirituals to Depression-era blues, from ragtime to traditional jazz—their sound evokes the rich musical heritage of their New Orleans home. The band has gained a loyal following through their distinctive sound, their commitment to reviving long-lost songs, and their barnstorming live performances.

Duke Heitger's Steamboat Stompers - The Steamboat Stompers are among the finest jazz musicians in New Orleans. Each member has earned a formidable reputation as an individual performer. Credits range from international all-star festivals, to movie soundtracks, to live radio and television features. The band performs daily on the Steamboat Natchez for the daytime jazz harbor cruises.

Tim Laughlin Trio - Tim began playing clarinet at age nine and started landing professional gigs in New Orleans not long after graduating high school.  Today, he has a dozen recordings under his name, including the award-winning CD, "The Isle of Orleans."   Tim has a steady gig at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, and is a favorite for locals and visitors from around the world at the French Quarter Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Yerba Buena Stompers - This star-studded jazz band led by banjoist John Gill is dedicated to classic jazz in the style of the legendary Lu Waters Jazz Band. The band’s popularity has grown through the years thanks its sincere, no frills approach to this art form. The YBS consists of New Orleans musicians Orange Kellin and Duke Heitger, San Francisco musicians Leon Oakley and Clint Baker, Chicago musician Tom Bartlett, and New York musicians John Gill and Conal Fowkes (who are also long-time members of Woody Allen’s Jazz Band). This year the Stompers will be showcasing Miss Ida Blue, vocalist.

Many more musicians will soon be announced!