Dr. Michael White is a leading figure in traditional New Orleans Jazz and one of only a few to creatively carry on the rich clarinet sound and style of that city. He is a descendant of several first generation jazz musicians, including clarinetist Willie Joseph and reedman Earl Fouche. He studied clarinet with noted band director Edwin Hampton and was a member of the esteemed St. Augustine High School Marching 100 and Symphonic Band. In line with New Orleans tradition, White began his jazz career by playing for several years in local brass bands for social club parades and jazz funerals.
Among the numerous awards and honors White has received are the French Chevalier of Arts and Letters and the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship Award. In 2010 he was named Louisiana Humanist of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and he also won the Offbeat Magazine Best of the Beat Award as Clarinetist of the Year, and Gambit Magazine’s Big Easy Entertainment Award for Traditional Jazz Artist of the Year.