Pat Barberot was an American band leader. He was the founder and leader of New Orleans’ longest running big band, the Pat Barberot Orchestra. From 1940 until his death in 2007, Pat Barberot, known as “The Glenn Miller” of New Orleans, was a staple of New Orleans nightlife, performing his own arrangements of classic, big band tunes when supper clubs like the Blue Room, the Safari Club, and the Bali Hai dotted the New Orleans area. Their popularity was such that the PBO had its own weekly live radio broadcast. Barberot’s band, with his saxophone out front, performed his own arrangements of classics including the big band composers Glenn Miller, Stan Kenton, Louis Prima, and Sy Oliver.
In 1970, Barberot realized that venues for big band music were fading away, so he opened his own club, The Jefferson Orleans North located in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie. There they continued to play and survive with their weekly concerts for over 35 years. But they virtually disappeared from public view and, apart from their aging fans, were largely forgotten.
In August 2005, the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the Jefferson Orleans North. Barberot later rebuilt the club and reunited his band, and they resumed performances four months later. After taking ill in the fall of 2006, Barberot died on April 5, 2007.
After his father’s death, percussionist Bryan Barberot took over leadership of the band. Over a decade later in 2018, the PBO was on the verge of disbanding due to a dwindling fan base in their suburban cocoon when they were rediscovered by Jane Albright and Paul Bello. They have since been working with Bryan to maintain this historic band who has so much importance and history in the city of New Orleans.