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Perez, Manuel  

Barry Kernfeld

brass band and dance band cornetist, was born Emile Emanuel Perez in New Orleans, Louisiana. A Catholic and a Creole, he was the son of a Hispanic father and an African American mother, whose names are unknown. His parents ran a grocery on Touro Street, and his father was also a cigar maker. Manuel was educated in a French-speaking grammar school, and he was raised on European classical and popular music. He took up cornet at age twelve, after which he entered the emerging world of syncopated music that later became ragtime and jazz.

While working steadily as a cigar maker Perez played in brass bands and dance bands in New Orleans, and he recalled that he was already playing ragtime on cornet in 1898. He married Lena (maiden name unknown) in 1900 they had at least one child That same year he joined the Onward Brass ...