12/21/1936 - 5/3/2018
I have very sad news to deliver- somewhat devastating to the Black Eagles' musical family. Tony Pringle, our
musical leader and cornet player, passed away last Thursday, May 3rd, due to complications from heart surgery.
Even though he'd been in the hospital for six weeks in a very compromised physical condition, it was still
shocking to us.
Tony had expressed numerous times that he would want the band to keep going if he ever stopped playing, and
that we should continue to perform the soulful and uncompromising style of New Orleans jazz that he helped
create....We fully intend to do that, for many reasons, not the least of which would be honoring his spirit.
I look forward to sharing brighter news with you sometime soon. In the meantime, thanks for all of your support
over the years. We hope to see you at some of our performances in the near future.
-- Billy Novick --
9/5/1932 - 9/4/2018
This has indeed been a really difficult year for the New Black Eagles. If Tony Pringle embodied the soul and
vision of the band, then Peter Bullis provided the backbone and was the engine that drove the band. Unlike the
shock of Tony's death in May, Peter's passing was somewhat expected. In fact, for the past ten months he'd been
quite open about the overall prognosis of his health. Nonetheless, I already miss him enormously.
Peter was both the banjo player and manager of the band. He had a deep love for New Orleans jazz, and for those
of you who might (understandably) think that a banjo just strums "chink-chink-chink- what's the big deal?"
you'd be shocked at the drive, feel and depth of passion that Peter's "chink-chink-chinks" gave to the music.
His style of playing was totally pure form of rhythm- unadorned, uncompromising, somewhat unrelenting..the power
and soul of the music transported into every chord he played.
-- Billy Novick --
The Black Eagles, as we are often known to our fans, have been a fixture on the international jazz scene since
1971, bringing the sounds of traditional New Orleans Jazz to audiences all over the world, for more than 40 years !
Many observers regard us as the premier band playing in the traditional jazz style; we do regard ourselves as the "Keepers
of the Flame”.
If you like the uplifting and soulful music of New Orleans you'll love the sound of the New Black Eagle Jazz Band.
The band has delighted audiences all over the world with their huge and eclectic repertoire of jazz from the 1920's and 30's.
The group has a mature mastery of this great American music- from Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton to early Duke Ellington to
Cole Porter; from blues to rags to popular songs of the era.
The band has performed extensively all across North America, and has toured throughout Europe countless times. They have performed in
New Orleans, London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Toronto to name a few. In 2011 they opened the Newport Jazz Festival to a packed house.
They have been featured in concert with many jazz legends including Doc Cheatham, "Kid" Thomas, Benny Waters, Odetta and Milt Hinton,
and with symphony orchestras - the Boston Pops, the Scottish National Orchestra , the Baltimore Symphony to name a few.
The band has released over 40 recordings (including the Grammy-nominated "On the River") and videos. Their music has been featured in
Ken Burns' documentaries and on NPR Radio. The band has also been a guest on The Prairie Home Companion show.
The band also follows the New Orleans tradition of playing private parties and other danceable events and enjoy being booked for
Bob Pilsbury. Due to ill-health, Bob Pilsbury, our long-time piano player for more than 43 years, has retired.
A small farewell party was held on Saturday June 27th for Bob where he was presented with, amongst other gifts, a Poster created by Tony Pringle
on behalf of the Band, and a Drawing created by our "resident artist" Joe Mathieu. We all wish him well - he will be sorely missed, not only
by his fellow musicians but by his many fans world-wide, although his wonderful piano playing, through his recordings, will live
on with us forever.
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