Ernie Belanger

Biography & Discography


Biography by Skip Parsons

Discography & Webpage by Cliff Lamere

    25 Feb 2006, revised 4 Mar 2006




      Tuba                                             Sousaphone




Bio by Skip Parsons

Ernest Edmund "Ernie" Belanger, VII 
Tuba & Bass 

In grammar school, he remembers seeing a bass player complete with cap, sunglasses, beard & attire of the day.  When he was approached to join the school music program, Ernie said "I want to be a bass player."  A week later, his father (a guitar - banjoist) brought home a tuba and said here's your bass - a bass horn !  Okay - - - Ernie took tuba & bass lessons through the program and became a part of the band & orchestra.  Later on during the school years he played with a volunteer fireman's band and a number of rock & popular groups of the time.  He also became an electric guitar / bass player, and led a band of his own.

After school graduation he joined the Navy & played Tuba & Baritone horn with the Lakehurst N. J. Naval Air Station Band.  He then went on to a Naval air Station in New Orleans.  It was at this time, he was awakened by the sound of early jazz.  After a hitch in Yokosuka and Viet Nam he was discharged in 1968 and returned back home to Saratoga Springs, NY.

A short time later, Ernie was introduced to and played a few jobs with Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band of Albany N.Y.  He was officially indoctrinated into the band at the Syracuse, N.Y. Bix Bash Festival in 1973.  The rest is history... He has appeared almost entirely with the RJB since then.  Ernie excelled on opportunities to play with the band which included guests: Doc Cheatham, Kenny Davern, Spanky Davis, Ed Polcer, Joe Myranyi, Speigle Wilcox, Bobby Pratt, Carl Lunsford, Ed Hubble, Tom Saunders & More.  A big moment was at the Greenville, N.Y. festival when Major Holly showed up late and Ernie was asked to fill in with The Kings of Jazz featuring Pee Wee Erwin, Chris Griffin, Johnny Mince, Bob Wilber, Cliff Leeman and Bobby Pratt.

Some memorable times include: Two weeks at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N. Y. with RJB for ABC-TV.  Festival appearances include Waterloo, Lake George Hot Jazz Party, Bix Bash, Greenville & Hunter Mountain.  Also many concert venues, Performing Arts Centers, Theaters, Music Halls, Colleges, Public TV, Resorts & More.  Recordings with Skip Parsons' Jazz Bands, & Clarinetist Joe Slovak.


Ernie Belanger in photos taken by Cliff Lamere:

    Ernie Belanger

    Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band 1

    Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band 2

    Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band 3

    Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band 4

    Skip Parsons' Clarinet Marmalade Trio at Normanside Country Club

    With Skip Parsons

    With Eddy Kebabjian

    With Forrest Gabriels

    With Forrest Gabriels 2

    With Oakley Frost

    With Sam Ponder

    With Sam Ponder 2

    With Bernie Mulleda


Ernie Belanger in photos on other webpages made by Cliff Lamere:

    Skip Parsons' Clarinet Marmalade Trio at Funeral

    Skip Parsons' Clarinet Marmalade Trio at Elks Club

    Historical Photos of SPRJB 1

    Ernie Belanger in Florida

    Ernie Belanger in Florida - part 2

    Bugler at Saratoga National Cemetery

    Ernie Belanger as a Youngster


Ernie Belanger in other internet photos:

    Beneath a canopy  - Tom D'Andrea, Rennie Crain, Ernie Belanger, Skip Parsons, Woody Strobeck, Mo Rancourt, Eddy Kebabjian (left to right)

    Clarinet Marmalade Trio



Biography and photo of Ernie's musical father, Ernie Belanger, Sr.

Ernie's father in blackface



Ernie Belanger plays on the following CDs (click on icon):



    Skip Parsons' Riverboat Dixieland Jazz Band  

    Skip Parsons' Clarinet Marmalade      (Trio)