The Story of Peruna Jazzmen
ARNE HØJBERG - the name of the guy , who´ s to blame for it all. He´s partial, you see, to real Jazzmusic as by Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Joe King Oliver, Clarence Williams and others among the founders of Jazz. He thought their music deserved to get out to people instead of always being fetched down from a dusty shelf by the rare collector. So what to do ? - You create your own Jazzband - and go on the road. 1959 was the year the PERUNA JAZZMEN was born.
Naturally many will ask themselves, "What´s actually the meaning of the word Peruna? " That´s truly a good question, and as we don´t want to seem superficial, we have found, through thourough research of various annals a writer by the name of Eric Townley. In his work " Tell your Story", dealing with Jazz-and blues recordings 1917-1950, he states among other things that PERUNA is the name of a tune used as a pepsong for the football team of Southern Methodist University, Texas, founded 1911. The maskot of the university was also called PERUNA. The melody is known by everybody as "she´ll be coming round the mountain". Furthermore the name is a slange xpression for a universal remedy against all ills, from a swollen toe to business problems. and this,of course, is quite correct.
That the name means potato in Finish is quite without importance for the band. Then again it might serve to emphasize our eclecticism. Besides PERUNA is the title of different recordings of the tune:
- Duvart Cline Orchestra November 11 1928
- Southern Methodist University January 2 1936
- Bob Crosby´s Bobcats September 18 1939
- The Rampart Street Paraders June 11 1957
Why all this? Well, to explain the origins of the name and to emphasize that Peruna is not just obscure happenings and conjurations from the past but also very much something of the present. At this point we therefore find it appropriate to mention a selection of what we´ve done throughout these many years.
2 cornets , clarinet, trombone, piano, banjo, washboard and tuba started wearing down the roads, among others the road to the festival at Dunkerque France, 1975 where we were awarded 1st price and elected the most original since the old masters.
Or in 1976 in San Sebastian, Spain, where the same thing happened. All the years partaking all over Western Europa and the USA, among others taking part in the biggest Dixieland Festival in Sacramento, California. Furthermore the band has played in Sweden, Norway, England, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Greenland, Damascus and New Orleans.
By the way, we shouldn´t forget to mention that the band was voted no. 1 in traditional jazz contests in Dunkerque and San Sebastian. Peruna Jazzmen was also voted one of the World´s 3 best bands within the style at a jazzology election in the USA.
During the time the band has existed, we´ve had the pleasure of playing with many outstanding foreign artists.Among others LOUIS METCALF, BUCK JONES, BUTCH THOMPSON, JABBO SMITH, HAPPY CAULDWELL, BUD JOHNSON, WILD BILL DAVISON, CY LAURIE, JACQUES GAUTHE´and GREG STAFFORD. And not to be forgotten Mrs NATALIE LAMB, one of the finest white interpretors of blues in USA. Likewise ROBERT "BOB" GREENE, who playes Morton like MORTON himself. Also JEFF HEALEY, The rock guitarist, who playes a unique very hot cornet. It was also a very great experience to accompany Mrs. EVA TAYLOR - widow of the legendary CLARENCE WILLIAMS, one of the greatest in jazz, incredibly productive as musician and composer.
So that not only the old masters should be immortalized on 78´s and tape we have until now recorded 10 lp´s, of which 7 are produced in the USA, distribution in Europa and Japan.
Of course the members of the band have changed over such a long period of time, but we have maintained the same style. For further information, see the musicians list.