Biography & Discography
Biography by Skip Parsons
Discography & Webpage by Cliff Lamere
25 Feb 2006
Bio by Skip Parsons
Cornet & Horns
Mo launched his Dixieland career in his teens playing fraternity and sorority house parties around Ivy League campuses with the popular Williams College Route Two Tooters in the early l960’s. More recently as a member of the Big Six Jazz Band in the neighboring Berkshires for over 23 years, Mo has played functions at the J P Morgan Hotel in Hartford, The Mohowie Theatre in Great Barrington, The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, The Clark Art Museum in Williamstown as well as a performance with the Berkshire Big Band at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood in Lenox.
Along with the appearance at Ozawa Hall, Mo personally treasures having played an evening with Bix Biederbecke’s trombonist Spiegel Wilcox in West Stockbridge, and the 70th Birthday party for Leonard Bernstein at the Fitzpatrick estate in Stockbridge.
His lyrical approach to the cornet reveals the composite influence of the various styles of such personally greatly admired trumpeters and cornetists as Louis Armstrong, Bix Biederbecke, Bobby Hackett, Jimmy McPartland, Wild Bill Davidson, Roy Eldridge, Bunny Berrigan, and Rex Stewart. “I love all their playing," Mo readily admits, “and I don’t mind borrowing their ideas as inspiration for my own playing.”
His vocal tribute to Louis Armstrong is always a favorite of jazz fans and fellow musicians whether on a Jazz Club date or in a concert setting. He is a featured performer at Castle Street Cafe in Great Barrington (“...from time to time.”...). Mo has also appeared with the Paradise City Jazz Band, New Storyville Stompers, Steel Pier Jazz Band, New Century Jazz Ensemble, Lazy River Jazz Band, the Dixie Sweet Hots, and Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band.
Mo is no stranger to the musical scene in upstate New York, however, and has appeared with various musical mixes at several Saratoga venues such as One Caroline Street, The Metro, Nine Maple Avenue, Sargo’s, Ciro’s and, of course, the Saratoga Raceway. From Wallabee’s Jazz Club in Glens Falls, and the Steamboats and the Sagamore Hotel on Lake George down to the various resorts in the Catskills, Mo is (“..has been...”) a familiar player on the scene.
“Having the opportunity to work with Skip and his real fine players in the Riverboat Jazz Band,” Mo shares, “is a real great kick for me. I’m really having a good time learning the arrangements and enjoying the wonderful musicianship of Skip and all the real fine players in this band. To quote Pops, “It’s a real gasser.”
Biography of Mo Rancourt
Mo Rancourt can be seen in other photos taken at The Fountain Restaurant by Cliff Lamere:
Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band
Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band 2
Mardi Gras 1
Mardi Gras 2
With Skip Parsons
With Woody Strobeck
With Ron Bill
With Ron Joseph
Mo Rancourt can be seen in photos taken in Schenectady by Cliff Lamere:
Jazz on Jay - part 1 [Street in Schenectady, NY]
Jazz on Jay - part 2 [Street in Schenectady, NY]
Mo Rancourt can be seen in videos taken by Cliff Lamere:
Jazz on Jay [Street in Schenectady, NY]
Mo Rancourt can be seen in other internet photos:
Swing 'N Jazz
Beneath a canopy - Tom D'Andrea, Rennie Crain, Ernie Belanger, Skip Parsons, Woody Strobeck, Mo Rancourt, Eddy Kebabjian (left to right)