Sweet Emma Barrett - New Orleans Pianist ( 1897 - 1983)
‘Sweet Emma’ was pianist and vocalist Emma Barrett, who had sung in the bars, clubs and saltier venues of New Orleans since 1910, when she was 12.
'Sweet Emma' Barrett played constantly, and remained one of New Orleans' favorite entertainers all her life. She was one of the most unforgettable musicians who ever played New Orleans Jazz.
By 1923, pianist and singer Emma Barrett was playing with Papa Celestin and Bebe Ridgley's Original Tuxedo Orchestra. Emma remained with Ridgley until 1936, a period in which she also performed under such well-known leaders as John Robichaux, A.J. Piron, and Sidney Desvigne. In the '50s she worked with Percy Humphrey and Israel Gorman and also led her own band of New Orleans veterans, sometimes touring as Sweet Emma and the Bells.