Seva Venet
“Traditional New Orleans Jazz”
Bio
Personal History Seva moved to New Orleans in 1999.  While in L.A., he taught music and  worked as a professional musician playing in traditional jazz bands, Cajun and zydeco bands, country and western bands, blues bands and rock and roll bands.  Venet first came to New Orleans in 1999 hungry to learn more about the music he loves to play and teach:  American roots music, especially traditional jazz.  The music and culture in New Orleans changed his life and he knew he could make a living in music while contributing to the community and developing his craft so he made his move later that same year after busking in Europe on a 10 week 10 city tour in the summer. Seva's education came from a few very good teachers.  Bill Harkleroad (a.k.a. Zoot Horn Rollo) was his first guitar teacher, later, in the early 1990’s, Seva studied with rebound author, guitarist and educator Ted Greene.  Seva studied songwriting with his uncle Nik Venet, the legendary record producer.  And Seva's father Steve Venet, a songwriter, producer, artist and cartoonist also had an influence on his early decisions in becoming a musician and artist.    He was introduced to the New Orleans traditional jazz style while playing several years in a band in L.A. with Mike McClelland, a  George Lewis style Albert system clarinetist.  In New Orleans Seva found his teachers of New Orleans jazz in Tuba Fats and his band.  After arriving in New Orleans, he worked with Tuba Fats and His Chosen Few for four years with many long days in Jackson Square, as well as an extended engagement at Donna's Bar and Grill, and a myriad of other jobs including second-line parades, French Quarter Fest, Satchmo Fest, and Krewe du Vieux to name a few.  It was during his time with Tuba that he was introduced to many of the local greats including Greg Stafford, Leroy Jones and Shannon Powell who after first playing with Seva exclaimed "I came up with Danny Barker!  You sound like Danny Barker!  Get a gitjo [a 6- string banjo] and come by my house...were going to record." By the time Tuba Fats passed in 2004, Seva had picked up the six-string banjo and branched out to work with hundreds of other local musicians.  Today, Seva leads his own jazz band that features the tenor and 6-string banjos in a traditional New Orleans jazz ensemble and Seva also leads a string band, the Storyville String band, that specializes in traditional New Orleans jazz but in a string dominated acoustic ensemble (bass, guitar, hawaiian (slide), mandolin, violin and ukulele).  Seva also works as a sideman on guitar and banjo with several New Orleans bands including Dr. Michael White, Greg Stafford, Shanon Powell, Clive Wilson, and Treme Brass Band to name a few.  Seva has played a numerous festivals, concerts and events around the United States, toured in Europe with Lars Edegran as leader and toured Japan 3 times with Shannon Powell’s All-stars. In 2007 Seva released his debut CD "What's in the Bag" with a follow up in 2008: "Mens Working" a Jazzology/GHB release.  In 2010 his band the Storyville Stringband had its debut CD release with "Seva Venet presents the Storyville Stringband - Live at the Pavilion of Two Sisters" and in January 2013 the Storyville Stringband released its first studio CD "My Bayou Home" featuring 11 new Venet originals.  In 2014 Seva produced a documentary CD on the history of string bands in New Orleans featuring various ensembles and stylistic genres aiming to recapture the historical context of New Orleans music from pre-jazz through the New Orleans revival period.  “Revisiting New Orleans String Bands: 1880-1949,” includes a 16 page essay on this fascinating elusive past.  Most recently Seva has released another documentary CD on the history of the banjo in New Orleans:  “New Orleans Banjo Vol. 1: Misieu Bainjo”  that also includes an extensive essay (26 pages with photos). Venet has taught music to hundreds of school children in the New Orleans area since Hurricane Katrina and many of them have performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  He also conducts educational workshops on traditional New Orleans jazz for groups visiting from around the globe at venues such as Preservation Hall, the Jazz Historical Park, and at symposiums including the 2012 Satchmo Fest where he led an "informance" with the Storyville Stringband on "String bands, Hawaii, and Louis Armstrong." All material biographic material  © Copyright 2012, 2017 by Seva Venet.     Unauthorized use prohibited.  Use by permission from Seva Venet.
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