In 2009, the original New Orleans Jazz Vipers morphed into two new bands, Joe Braun’s The New Orleans Jazz Vipers and the New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings featuring six former Jazz Vipers. You can hear both bands playing regularly on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, and both have released new CDs available at their websites.
The original New Orleans Jazz Vipers were a popular and active band in New Orleans for many years, pioneers of the Frenchmen Street scene, with a twice-weekly residency at the Spotted Cat 2003 to 2009. Noteable festival appearances included the Jazz Fest, French Quarter Fest, Lincoln Center Midsummer Night Swing and the Monterey Jazz Festival (in September 2005). Part of the unique sound of the Jazz Vipers came from the fact that they rarely used any amplification. The sound of the band was at the same time retro, full of energy and unpretentious, with both up-tempo dance numbers and well-chosen ballads; it has been aptly described as neo-trad-jazz. The band received many awards in Louisiana including the Gambitâ€™s “Big Easy” award in 2005 for “Best Traditional Jazz Band,” and Offbeat Magazineâ€™s “Best of the Beat” award in 2004 for “Best Traditional Jazz Album” (for the album “Live on Frenchmen Street”). In 2001 and 2003 they won the “Best of the Beat” award for “Best Emerging Traditional Jazz Band.”