Home Schedule Members Recordings Merchandise Sounds Photods Les Contact
Emperor Chet

Chet was honored by the Sacramento Music Festival by being crowned the 2014 "Emperor of Jazz." Each year, the Festival honors someone who has made special contributions to jazz or the Festival. Chet has done both of course. As one of the first band leaders to work the "jazz festival circuit," Chet helped create public support for this jazz form. Many of the great names in traditional jazz today are graduates of Chet's bands - mostly from the Night Blooming Jazzmen. Chet introduced the humorous "Hymn Sing" to the jazz circuit, as well as creating the tradition of honoring America's servicemen as part of the Sacramento Festival.

Chet was crowned as Emperor during the 2013 festival, but he had to give the crown back after about 15 minutes! In 2014, he was given the crown again and could wear it for the entire weekend. It did not fit him well, physically though. In Chet's words, the crown is "one size fits none." Here are some photographs of the grand parade at the 2014 festival that show Chet in all of his glory. Click on any of the photos to see a larger version.

Here Chet has just been given his crown and a sash. He and Eileen are riding in one of a set of classic Ford Thunderbirds in the Sacramento Music Festival parade. The Parade took Chet completely around Old Town, Sacramento. This is a total distance of about eight blocks.
The Parade was led by the California Repercussions, which is a great "street" band. They played appropriate jazz as a background throughout the parade.
Chet and Eileen were immediately behind the Repercussions.
They spend most of their time waving at cheering fans.
Sometimes the fans (and their relatives) came out of the crowd to shake their hands. The local police did not seem to mind.
Here is a short video clip of the parade, as they turn a corner. Clock this and you can watch the car move, Chet wave, and the Repercussions play "Tuxedo Junction."
Other jazz luminaries also came to congratulate Chet. Here is familiar face; Earl McKee from the High Sierra Jazz Band.