(singke) #1

10 MARINER / 2016 - ISSUE 3


n 1966, then-midshipman John T. Page ’68 was ashore in New Orleans,
where the TS State of Maine was docked during its annual training cruise.
As Page was taking in the sights of the French Quarter, he happened upon
Preservation Hall, home of the world-famous Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and
from inside he heard music that so captivated his soul it continues to inspire
him to this day.
Page had been playing trumpet since age six. That magical night at Preserva-
tion Hall, and many others over subsequent years, gave him a deep appreciation
for traditional New Orleans jazz.
The music dates to the birth of jazz that occurred in New Orleans in the early
1900s. “Wherever the music is heard, its joyful beat still delights people of all
age groups,” says Page. “Musicians such as Louis Armstrong, the Preservation
Hall Jazz Band and other jazz greats who play the music of that time have been
my inspiration over the years.”
While at MMA he was in the band for four years, but also had the “collateral
duty waking up the entire senior dorm residents when I was a freshman,” he
says, “blowing reveille on the trumpet to wake the seniors up at 0600, and then
getting out of there as fast as I could.”
Following graduation, Page shipped out of the Port of New Orleans, as well
as the ports of New York and San Francisco, as a deck officer on cargo ships for
23 years.
Eventually he came ashore holding a Coast Guard license as Master, Steam
and Motor Vessels of Any Gross Tons, Oceans.
He then earned a graduate degree from Florida International University and
became a maritime training instructor, and later a maritime executive

acting as Head of Project Development and ISO Quality Management for the
American Maritime Officers Union in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In 2014, following a 45-year maritime career, he and his wife Ann retired to
Maine where he resumed playing jazz full-time as the leader of the State Street
Traditional Jazz Band, which he founded in 1989 and based in Portland.
Over the years, he continued to visit New Orleans where he observed and
studied the techniques of the old master musicians. He attended tour perfor-
mances of Preservation Hall Jazz Band, befriended musicians in the band and
learned the techniques of playing the music.
The State Street Traditional Jazz Band consists of standard New Orleans
songs of the early 1900s. Many of its musicians are longtime friends and musical
colleagues going back to the 1970s. The songs they play are familiar— “Bill
Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home,” “Saint Louis Blues,” “Has Anybody Seen
My Gal” and more than 100 other songs.
“The Saints Go Marching In’ is the first song I learned from the New Orleans
repertoire,” Page says, “and it’s the final number of every concert we perform,
the one every audience demands!”
The band has played in many concert and private party venues as well TV
appearances. They recorded a CD last year and recently filmed a DVD of a
live performance, both of which are for sale at concerts and via their website:
“Carrying on my passion for playing the old jazz comes out when we see the
smiles on the faces of the audience,” Page says. “When they tap their feet and
clap along with the music, we know it is touching their souls and lifting their
spirits. That’s the payoff and what makes it worthwhile.”

Page’s band plays venues across Maine.

Another former MMA trumpeter keeps traditional jazz alive

On that note
Free download pdf