When we think of a musician shredding out a killer solo, it’s usually the guitar or the drums that first come to mind. But New Orleans jazz musician Doreen Ketchens has garnered much acclaim over the years for her incredible talent with the clarinet. Recently, the artist—also known as Queen Clarinet—has gained renewed attention from a resurfaced 2018 video where she performs a mind-blowing jazz clarinet solo to the melody of House of the Rising Sun. The traditional folk tune is best known for the version recorded in 1964 by British rock band The Animals, but Ketchens puts her own bluesy spin on the number.
Transitioning seamlessly between clarinet and vocal solos, Ketchens stuns the crowd with her rendition of the soulful tune. She even makes the instrument growl with her incredible dexterity and control as her fingers fly up and down the keys. The energy as she plays is absolutely electric, with bursts of intoxicating sound emitting from her instrument like sparks. Ketchens’ spicy performance has even earned the title of “the dirtiest clarinet solo” from YouTube musician and transcriptionist George Collier who recently posted a clip of her performance with the notes transcribed below it. And seeing the actual musical notation of her extraordinary solo written out on the treble clef only makes the jazz clarinetist's performance that much more impressive.
Scroll down to see Ketchens’ full street performance of House of the Rising Sun, accompanied by her band Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans.