Speed Reads

Tribute to a trumpeter

New Orleans jazz legend Lionel Ferbos dies at 103

Lionel Ferbos, a jazz trumpeter considered New Orleans' oldest musician, died just two days after turning 103 years old, New Orleans' WWLTV reports.

While Ferbos finally retired from playing due to health issues earlier this year, he enjoyed a birthday party on Thursday, receiving local well wishes, as well as some from a bit farther away — President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama sent a birthday greeting to the trumpeter.

Ferbos first picked up an old cornet at age 15 from a pawn shop. He went on to back blues singer Marnie Smith, tour with the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, and hold down a decades-long gig at the Palm Court on New Orleans' Decatur Street, where Ferbos lead the Palm Court Jazz Band each week.

"Practice, practice, practice," he told aspiring musicians. "Do that, and you'll make friends all over the world."

Learn more about Ferbos' storied career via The Associated Press video, made in 2013, below. --Sarah Eberspacher