Tuba Man, Ronell Johnson, Joins the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Photo by Howard Lambert
Ben Jaffe will be stepping down from his bandstand tuba position to stick around New Orleans in anticipation of his first child, due this summer. Jaffe will continue to be part of the team, continuing his role as Creative Director of Preservation Hall.
Raised by a musical family in New Orleans, Johnson started playing trumpet and piano around the age of 6. Four years later, Johnson increased his musicianship and taught himself how to play the trombone, tuba, organ, saxophone, drums, and more. He began performing professionally at the age of 12. To deepen his musical education, he attended New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and majored in music at Southern University at New Orleans. Johnson became Jaffe’s protege, studying under him at NOCCA.
The Johnson family are no strangers to Preservation Hall Jazz Band, as his great uncle is Joseph “Kid Twat” Butler who played string bass with the legendary Kid Thomas Valentine and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. He is additionally a member of his family’s brass band Coolbone (comprised of his 3 brothers, 2 uncles, and 4 cousins) and has toured with David Byrne, Ben Harper, Spearhead, Busta Rhymes, Counting Crows, De La Soul and other.