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Meet Barbara Laronga of The Bayou Bump

Today we’d like to introduce you to Barbara Laronga.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Barbara. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I come from a small town in MA, where music education was part of the curriculum from kindergarten. I was introduced to the trumpet at the end of 3rd grade, where a team of musicians did instrument demos during one school day afternoon. We were encouraged to choose which instrument we loved, and we would begin lessons at the beginning of 4th grade. When the guy picked up that trumpet and started wailing, it called my name! It was trumpet.

I loved it from the start and began practicing as much as I could. By the time I got to Junior High, I was entering district competitions and going to summer music camps. I decided I would major in music in college. I did my undergraduate degree at UMASS, Lowell, and my Masters at Manhattan School of Music. I started gigging right out of High School and would play in many bands and ensembles throughout my career. I moved to LA in 2004, and have enjoyed a freelance career, being a college educator, and leading my own band, The Bayou Bump. The band plays New Orleans Jazz, Second Line, Funk, Spirituals….you name it! I’ve always loved so many styles of music, but I gravitate towards New Orleans Jazz. There’s something special about it that resonates with me. I started it when I lived in New York, and we used to busk on the street in Columbus Circle.

Has it been a smooth road?
That’s an interesting question because it could go in so many directions! I’m going to say yes and no! What hasn’t been smooth are a couple of things: 1.) learning how to manage finances as a freelancer, and 2.) being the subject of gender discussion and discrimination on the topic of “female trumpet player”. And yes, it has often been a smooth road, because I know what I’m doing is what I’m meant to do! It’s a blessing, and I’m grateful every day!

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
My business is music, and I have many ways to contribute. I am a freelancing trumpeter who plays with many bands and does studio work, both on location and remotely. I’m a songwriter. I’m an educator and teach privately, as well as at 2 LA area colleges. And lastly, I lead The Bayou Bump, a New Orleans style band. I’m grateful to have had such a successful career thus far. I’ve played all over the world, on iconic stages, and with tons of famous people. I’m fortunate to have had the educators I did, who showed me how to work hard and stay positive.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Well, this is tricky because of the recent pandemic. I hope and pray that we all will be starved for human interaction, and live music will thrive once again. It’s apparent that the online platform has doubled up for different music ventures, including remote recording, teaching, and other business interaction. I suppose this will create a shift, but I guess time will tell what that shift will be.

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