Oh, here's an article from Billboard--
Sad reality sinks in for New Orleans music scene
By Todd Martens Sun Feb 5, 5:44 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Like nearly every house in New Orleans, Bethany Bultman's home has holes in its roof. Buckets to catch rainwater surround her desk, and she is hesitant to go out at night. Much of her neighborhood is still completely without power.
She is one of the lucky ones. Leaky roof aside, her house suffered little damage, and she has a second one in Massachusetts, a world away from the devastation Hurricane Katrina inflicted last August. Bultman admits to missing her Cape Cod getaway, but she cannot bring herself to abandon New Orleans. There would be the guilt of leaving behind the city and those who are suffering, but more important, there are checks to write.
Bultman inscribes upwards of 70 per week, each for $100, each given to a New Orleans musician. To date, her efforts have been funded largely by donations from Pearl Jam and nonprofit organization Jazz Aspen Snowmass; she recently was promised $250,000 from MusiCares, the Recording Academy's charitable arm.
The checks Bultman writes are allocated only to those who work, which these days in New Orleans can mean performing at a club in front of a handful of FEMA workers.
On many nights, money from the door is minimal or nonexistent. Bultman hopes her $100 subsidy is enough to dissuade someone from taking a gig in another city. If instruments and artifacts from the city's musical heritage were washed away, then New Orleans' soul -- the musicians who define it -- must stay.
"As the time wore on," Bultman says, "more and more musicians who were dumped all over the country wanted to come back. We soon realized that this is really about giving people instruments and giving people hope, and that's when we started paying the gig fees."
Two months ago, Bultman, a writer/historian and the co-founder of the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, was urging displaced musicians to return to the city. She started the clinic with her husband in 1998 with the assistance of Dr. Jack B. McConnell, the developer of Tylenol tablets whose son, Page, played keyboards for the band Phish. With a mix of pride and a dedication to preserving a music culture that she says "percolates out of the ground," Bultman hoped all New Orleans' evacuees would soon be returning.
'NEW ORLEANS IS NOT A HEALTHY PLACE'
Reality, however, soon sunk in, and now she is not so sure. "The goal was to get everyone we could get back to New Orleans," she says. "Now that we're back, we've moved away from that. We've moved away from the fantasy that everything would go back to the way it was. New Orleans is just not a healthy place for everyone to come to."
Eight of the city's ZIP codes are still without full power, according to the January 24 status report from the mayor's office. The area affected most by Katrina -- the Ninth Ward -- remains under curfew, and 911 emergency availability is scattered. Few hospitals are open, and the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, which had free use of the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, has lost such privileges, as much of the facility needs extensive repairs.
And for many, life was not all that great before Katrina. One in four of the city's residents lived below the poverty line, and a great number of its working musicians relied on a steady influx of tourists.
Bultman stays in touch with the national organizations providing relief to New Orleans musicians, including MusiCares, which announced its pledge in support of her efforts January 25.
She is heartened by the outpouring of generosity of her top donors and has nothing but praise for MusiCares. But five months after Katrina, Bultman feels that little has been accomplished. Nearly all of the 200 musicians she helps lack a place to live. She worries the situation will only get worse with a dearth of health care and tries to communicate to the national associations that the effort to restore the music community in New Orleans is one that will take years -- and one that will happen one saxophone at a time.
RETURN TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Pianist Joe Krown was playing 12 gigs per week prior to Katrina. His wife, who worked at Tulane University Hospital, was laid off after the hurricane. He filled out the paperwork for nearly every charity dedicated to helping musicians.
"I have a mortgage and a rent and no income, and before I said anything more to a couple of them, there was a check in the mail," Krown says. "That happened with MusiCares and the Musicians' Clinic and the Jazz Foundation."
He also benefited from the New Orleans Musicians' Relief Fund, which was started by one-time dB's member Jeff Beninato and his wife, Karen. Along with Chicago rock group Wilco, the couple brought Krown and such musicians as Leroy Jones, George French, Craig Klein and Cranston Clements to Chicago for a benefit show that raised more than $100,000.
Beninato says he started the charity two days after Katrina hit New Orleans, and a few days after that he heard from MusiCares. He began working with the national organization, providing names of musicians he knew were still in New Orleans.
Beninato is re-outfitting the New Wave Brass Band, hoping to get the big band in marching form for Mardi Gras. Providing instruments for working New Orleans musicians has become a group effort, and MusiCares is at the forefront. Wick says the charity has helped more than 600 musicians get new instruments, and he says MusiCares receives between 30 and 80 applications per day.
MusiCares has partnered with Gibson and the Guitar Center chain and launched its Music Rising replacement initiative in New Orleans with U2's the Edge. While an unknown number of musicians still need a place to live, they need the instruments to make a living.
Krown, for one, says he was able to replace some equipment thanks to MusiCares, and the program has made it easier for him to be self-sufficient. "It was starting to feel like I was begging, and I have too much pride for that," Krown says.
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 15:27 (7 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:07 (7 years ago) Permalink
― adam (adam), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:15 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:16 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:17 (7 years ago) Permalink
Actually, I'm happy just to see the names of all those locals returning to the Fest, but yeah, the headliners: could Quint be any more lame than re-booking Dave Matthews and Jimmy Buffett?
And Mama Digdown's at Donna's warms my heart. God, I love that place.
― Daniel Peterson (polkaholic), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:28 (7 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:32 (7 years ago) Permalink
But at least the crowds won't be so overwhelming this year.
― p.j. (Henry), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:37 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:42 (7 years ago) Permalink
Way back when they also used to bring in some out-of-town jazz, and have more local jazz. I wonder if the Essence Fest is going to come back to New Orleans? It was never that imaginatively booked--smooth jazz, big name old-school funk, soul and rap for buppies; but I always thought that Quint should at least try to reach a little of that audience as well (but with cleverly chosen acts that would appeal to that demographic).
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Thursday, 16 February 2006 17:52 (7 years ago) Permalink
Quint doesn't care about the obscurities who play Ponderosa Stomp; Guitar Gable on the roster isn't gonna bring in very many additional people, while Buffett still attracts HORDES of Parrotheads. Phil Phillips singing "Sea of Love" last year brought tears to my eyes, partly because I couldn't believe it was the first time he's been asked to perform there. Authentic stuff like that is a blip on the JF schedule, and I feel like every time a soul legend like Johnnie Taylor passes away without playing Jazzfest, while Little Feat does AGAIN, it's just another thing Quint's gonna have to answer for at the pearly gates.
― Daniel Peterson (polkaholic), Thursday, 16 February 2006 18:44 (7 years ago) Permalink
― adam (adam), Thursday, 16 February 2006 19:02 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Daniel Peterson (polkaholic), Thursday, 16 February 2006 19:27 (7 years ago) Permalink
The local musicians who are involved are stuck with playing up to Quint--since he's the only game in town. It's frightening that until a corporate sponsor stepped in, there was nearly gonna be no brass bands --check out this quote from Keith Spera'a article:
"Jazzfest also announced a partnership with American Express. The company will promote various local acts and sponsor the Jazz & Heritage Stage, which debuted at the 2005 festival with a lineup of brass bands and Mardi Gras Indians. Budget constraints would have forced the festival to drop the stage had AmEx not stepped in, Davis said."
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Thursday, 16 February 2006 19:37 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 16 February 2006 19:40 (7 years ago) Permalink
Anyone who's down the week before should check out the French Quarter Festival which is in many ways what JF should be. Free, all-local on a couple stages spread throughout the French Quarter. The food from the many stands (run by local restaurants etc) maxes out at $4. When I worked at the Aquarium lunch was the greatest thing in the world during the FQF: walk outside, get some food and a beer and watch the Nightcrawlers or Rebirth for an hour.
― adam (adam), Thursday, 16 February 2006 20:05 (7 years ago) Permalink
Ha ha. Funny how "shit" transposed to "hits."
― Daniel Peterson (polkaholic), Thursday, 16 February 2006 20:56 (7 years ago) Permalink
Tanio and Fat Man have been in Germany for the past few weeks. Glen David got in some mess here and had to leave town -- something about a woman, I was told.
Last night's line-up was a kit drummer (who did a pretty good job by the way), Kenny Terry, Corey Henry, Kerwin and a trombonist I didn't recognize. And the McNeil NewsHour had a crew there -- they shot footage all night long. The reporter told me he was working on a documentary about Reggie Houston, who was living in Portland pre-Katrina and will be returning to NOLA for the first time during JazzFest.
Also, there are strong, believable rumors that a New Orleans bar/social club will be opening near downtown here. A famous NOLA musician is involved, but I can't say who right now. I should be going public with it in a week or two.
Meanwhile, the tension between the exiles and the locals is growing. New Orleanians are now the boogie man here -- they're getting blamed for everything scary about Houston. It would be funny if it weren't so sad -- after all, we've been Murder Capital USA for several years running in the not too distant past, but people here are acting like "those people" have come in here and despoiled Eden.
Things reached fever pitch a couple of weeks ago when a teenaged girl claimed she was snatched off the street in broad daylight and gangraped for 12 hours by three guys who she said had New Orleans accents. Houston's Third Ward was aboil for about 72 hours, until the girl finally confessed she made the whole thing up. In fact, she had run off and had consensual sex with a guy she met on myspace.
― novamax (novamax), Thursday, 16 February 2006 22:23 (7 years ago) Permalink
― adam (adam), Thursday, 16 February 2006 23:15 (7 years ago) Permalink
Fifth Annual Ponderosa StompMay 8th, 9th and 10th, 2006, at the Gibson Factory, Memphis Tennessee THREE-DAY MUSIC FESTIVAL WILL BENEFIT NEW ORLEANS MUSICIANS VICTIMIZED BY HURRICANE KATRINA
From 5 P.M. till 2 A.M Nightly, Admission $40 per Night Celebrating the Unsung Heroes of the Blues, Soul, Rockabilly, Swamp Pop and New Orleans R&B
ArtistsArch Hall, JR, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Joe Clay, Jay Chevalier, Rebirth Brass Band, Willie Tee, Eddie Bo, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, Rockie Charles, Tammy Lynn, Alvis Wayne, Warren Storm, Lazy Lester, The Bad Roads, Barbara Lynn, Roy Head, Lil Buck Sinegal, Archie Bell, Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, Sonny Burgess, Hayden Thompson, Ace Cannon, Hi Rhythm Section, Travis Wammack, Willie Cobbs, Kenny Brown, The Bo Keys, The Nightcaps, Kenny & the Kasuals, ? & the Mysterians, Lady Bo, Billy Boy Arnold, Jody Williams, Deke Dickerson & the Eccofonics, Johnny Jones, Chick Willis, Little Freddie King, James Blood Ulmer, Betty Harris, Dale Hawkins, Dennis Coffey, William Bell, Fillmore Slim, The Tennessee Three featuting W.S. Holland and Bob Wootten, Wiley and the Checkmates, Syl Johnson, Herb Remington, The Fabulous Wailers, Bobby Patterson, The Climates, Carl Mann, Rayburn Anthony, Big George Brock, Henry Gray, Matt Lucas, The Rockabilly Country Band, Sleepy Labeef and Jumpin Gene Simmons.more to come . . . .
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Saturday, 18 February 2006 20:46 (7 years ago) Permalink
― adam (adam), Saturday, 18 February 2006 21:18 (7 years ago) Permalink
Oh, here's what they posted back in December on their message board--
Posted by: senor chubba This is a temporary move strictly for this one gig. We are producing other shows in New Orleans now for 05 and 06. Keep in mind final plans for the stomp happen in August and September -and the hotel and travel situation in New Orleans is not so good. Residents who were flooded cannot find rooms to stay while they repair their homes. The stomp happens during jazzfest week- what little rooms are beginning to be available will probably be gobbled up. Flights are scarce. Most of the stomps audience comes in from out of town- we have to have rooms available. This year's stomp is a benefit for New Orleans musicians - we feel we can have the greatest impact in terms of helping by producing the show elsewhere for this year. This was not an easy decision. Please check our show schedule as we will be adding shows for New Orleans in early 2005. We live and work in New Orleans - and we are committed to doing everything we can- however, the stomp is first and foremost about the helping musicians."
They're doing a one night thing at the South by Southwest Fest in Austin shortly as well I see--"Ponderosa Stomp Gulf Coast Revue at SXSWFriday, March 17, 2006Continental Club in Austin, Texas
The luck of the irish will be needed as Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau invade SXSW. the Knights will be bringing a special Ponderosa Stomp Gulf Coast Revue to the Continental Club in Austin, Texas. Featured performers will include, Eddie Bo, Al Carnival Time Johnson, Tommmy McClain, Roy Head, Barbara Lynn, Warren Storm, Classie Ballou, Archie Bell, Lil Buck Sinegal, Lil Band O'Gold, The Bad Roads and Zakary Thaks will appear. Lastly, special guest will be Shreveport native DJ Fontana."
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Saturday, 18 February 2006 23:46 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 19 February 2006 13:18 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 23 February 2006 05:25 (7 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Thursday, 23 February 2006 15:36 (7 years ago) Permalink
February 27, 2006Critic's NotebookIn the Music of New Orleans, Katrina Leaves Angry Edge By JON PARELES, N.Y. TimesNEW ORLEANS, Feb. 26 — The beat was crisp New Orleans funk, thumping to keep the crowd dancing at the uptown club Tipitina's. The band onstage, Dumpstaphunk, was led by Ivan Neville, the son of Aaron Neville and a member of New Orleans's first family of rhythm and blues.
Like many top New Orleans musicians, he was back in town for a club date on the weekend before Mardi Gras, when so many local musicians returned to the city's clubs that it almost seemed they had never gone away.
In this city that holds so many roots of American song, music is more than entertainment. It's a ritual and a lifeline.
On the surface of the music scene here, much was familiar. More than 80 nightclubs offered live music, perhaps two-thirds the number before Hurricane Katrina. The clubs in the French Quarter and uptown, in neighborhoods spared major flood damage, were booked with New Orleans all-stars: funk bands like the Radiators and Galactic, brass bands like the Rebirth Brass Band and the Soul Rebels, jazz musicians like Kermit Ruffins and Trombone Shorty.
They're still playing New Orleans standards as the drinks flow. But there's a changed spirit: the tenacity of holding together bands whose members have been scattered and the determination to maintain the New Orleans style. And in new songs, an open anger coexists with the old good-time New Orleans tone. Over a funk beat, Mr. Neville had something to say.
"Talkin' to the powers that be!" he declaimed like a preacher. "A lot of people got disenfranchised, displaced, and now we got a lot of distrust." He moved into a song built on the local greeting "Where y'at?" But one verse listed whereabouts of displaced New Orleanians: "Where y'at? Texas! Mississippi!" Another asked the federal government: "Where y'at, when we really needed you?"
In the 21st century, the most commercial New Orleans music has been hip-hop. Juvenile, a New Orleans rapper, has spent most of his career doing gangta boasts. But he has just released the single "Get Ya Hustle On," with a video clip shot in the ruins of the Ninth Ward.
It shows children in masks of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the city's mayor, C. Ray Nagin, wandering through the wreckage as Juvenile raps lyrics like "We starving, we living like Haiti with no government" and "I'm trying to live, I lost it all in Katrina." A house he had just built was destroyed in the hurricane.
There has always been more to New Orleans music than its nonchalant facade. The city has repeatedly catalyzed American music, as sounds that started in the streets of New Orleans reached the world as jazz, put the roll into rock 'n' roll and taught new syncopations to rhythm and blues. Within the songs is the tension and fascination between classes and cultures: African, European, French, Spanish, Caribbean, Native American, rich and poor.
"They don't all get along," said Nick Spitzer, the host of the Public Radio International program "American Routes" and one of the authors of "Blues for New Orleans: Mardi Gras and America's Creole Soul" (Penn Press). "But they've created an amazing shared culture." New Orleans musicians have long been able deliver troubled thoughts with a smile, as Louis Armstrong did in "Black and Blue" and Fats Domino did in "Ain't That a Shame."
When New Orleans musicians play the old songs, what once came across as easygoing now carries a streak of bravado.
Like other New Orleanians, many musicians have lost their homes, possessions and sometimes family members, and they are traveling long distances to play in their old local haunts.
A song like "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans" now echoes with the knowledge that some natives of the city will never return. And there are new, bleaker resonances when a Mardi Gras Indian group like the Wild Magnolias sings the traditional song "Shallow Water Oh Mama," or when a brass band picks up the bouncy "It Ain't My Fault."
Vaughan's, a club in the Upper Ninth Ward, is too small for a stage. Mr. Ruffins, a trumpeter, has returned to his regular Thursday gig there after a long hiatus imposed by the storm, and he and his band were nearly backed against the club's wall by the dancing crowd. He was playing and singing old New Orleans songs like "Mardi Gras Mambo," with a jovial Louis Armstrong growl.
Yet no one, onstage or off, has forgotten that the Lower Ninth Ward, still in ruins, is only a few blocks away.
Mr. Ruffins finished one set with a pop standard once sung by Bing Crosby, "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams." Halfway through, in casual New Orleans style, he handed the microphone to an audience member, who belted the song — with a line about castles tumbling — and then held on to the microphone long enough to add, "That's for all the people that lost their houses."
Later, Mr. Ruffins agreed. "Those tunes take a whole different meaning now," he said. "At one time in the club, we would just be singing them. Now, I listen to the words."
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Monday, 27 February 2006 19:11 (7 years ago) Permalink
I missed Hot 8 on Saturday, but Rebirth killlled it from 1 am - 3 am without a break.
― Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 27 February 2006 19:20 (7 years ago) Permalink
Mardi Gras Dawns With Some Traditions in Jeopardy By JON PARELES, N.Y. TimesExcerpts from his article:
For longtime New Orleanians, Mardi Gras isn't a frivolous diversion from deep problems; it's a symbol of continuity and identity. "It's not that we're going to celebrate and party and forget our rough times," said Irvin Mayfield, a jazz trumpeter whose father drowned during the flooding after Hurricane Katrina. "We're going to celebrate and party and make that about our rough times."
Bands whose members have been scattered to various states have driven and flown in to play New Orleans dates. Mardi Gras Indian practice sessions have been held as far away as Texas. Coolbone, a brass band that played a jazz-funeral tribute to Clarence (Gatemouth) Brown on Saturday afternoon, now has members in Texas and Alabama; a saxophonist for the Rebirth Brass Band now lives in New York City. But the groups are staying together.
Musicians who are synonymous with New Orleans, like the trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, have moved back and reclaimed their regular local dates. "I couldn't wait to get back," said Mr. Ruffins, who established himself so quickly in Houston after the storm that he's lending his name to a barbecue restaurant there. "All my life I grew up in the little nightclubs, and I couldn't wait to go back to just the old hole-in-the-walls."
For musicians, as for hundreds of thousands of other displaced New Orleanians, housing is the main problem. Real estate prices have skyrocketed because so much of the city is uninhabitable. Mr. Ruffins said that musicians who could make comfortable livings as New Orleans expatriates would still be eager to return. "If they had thousands of homes for people to stay in, I know that every musician who left would be right back," he said.
No upheaval would make Mr. Boudreaux change his Mardi Gras ritual. "You gotta do this," he said. "If that spirit is in you, it has to come out."
The Mardi Gras Indians represent one of New Orleans's endangered neighborhood traditions. So do the brass bands that play for jazz funerals and other neighborhood parades. Parades in New Orleans aren't complete without a "second line" of strutting, dancing, clapping spectators turned paraders — a street-level, neighborhood celebration. Now, in places like the Lower Ninth Ward, there are no neighbors.
A foundation associated with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (which starts April 28) bought and distributed 900 strings of marabou feathers and 175 pounds of custom-dyed large African ostrich plumes — two pounds per Indian, with 75 to 100 feathers per pound. The festival has also been paying the cost of police permits for second-line neighborhood parades — which was raised, in January, to $3,605 — and fees for the brass bands. "This is all that is left of this jazz culture in the world," said Quint Davis, the director of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Tipitina's, a club devoted to New Orleans music, is now a nonprofit foundation. It has been distributing instruments, including a shiny new brass sousaphone for the leader of the Rebirth Brass Band, which had New Orleans gigs all through the weekend. It also turned its upstairs offices into a community center for musicians, where they can use computers, get free legal help and meet one another: a kind of substitute for neighborhood hangouts that are now gone. And in November 2005, it began holding Mardi Gras Indian practices, which used to take place in neighborhood bars. The practice sessions doubled in size each time until they outgrew the club.
Long-term questions remain about what will happen to New Orleans traditions. High school bands in African-American neighborhoods were a vital training ground and source of instruments for young New Orleans musicians; with far fewer students in the city, many schools are closed down or consolidated, and music instruction is unlikely to be the most pressing priority for those that reopen. But on Carnival weekend, the clubs were full of familiar New Orleans names and sounds: brass bands like the Hot 8 and the Soul Rebels, funk bands like Galactic and the Radiators, the bluesman Walter Wolfman Washington and jazz musicians like the New Orleans Vipers and Trombone Shorty.
In the aftermath of the storm, there has been a huge surge of interest in New Orleans music. "Since Katrina, the culture in this city is being recognized more," said Bo Dollis, chief of the Wild Magnolias, another parading tribe. "And without the music, I don't know how this city will survive."
Then, flanked by tribe members in feathers and beads, he took to the stage of the Rock 'n' Bowl in the Mid-City neighborhood — much of it still dark and deserted — to sing the old Indian songs once again.
Fats Domino article
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Tuesday, 28 February 2006 12:40 (7 years ago) Permalink
I see that they announced today that they have added "Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Session" to Jazz Fest. Alas, based on a quick perusal, Quint has not added the TBC Brass band, Ponderosa Stomp type obscure Louisiana artists, New Orleans rap and bounce artists(Juvenile's new cd and video is getting lots of attention elsewhere-- ILMer Jess Harvell has a nice piece in the Baltimore City Paper), or Mississippi blues and soul performers. They added a few token 'world' music acts, but not as many as they have had in previous years.
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Thursday, 9 March 2006 19:32 (7 years ago) Permalink
A Keith Spera article excerpt for the N O Times-Picayune-
Shorty and Lenny: On the Friday before Mardi Gras, local trombonist and trumpeter Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews wrapped up a months-long tour with Lenny Kravitz's band. After that final show in Anaheim, Calif., Kravitz informed Andrews that he planned to hang out with him in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
Little did Andrews know that the trip would result in a role reversal. Normally, Kravitz is the leader, Andrews the side man. But at the House of Blues on Lundi Gras, as Andrews' band, Orleans Avenue, opened for Dr. John, Kravitz joined them as a backing musician. He played three songs on drums -- James Andrews' "New Love Thing," Jessie Hill's "Ooo-Poo-Pa-Doo" and a jam -- then switched to guitar for a final "Big Chief."
Kravitz had rehearsed the other songs at sound check, but not "Big Chief." "That was his first time playing it," Andrews said. "It was spur of the moment. But he was killing it. It was amazing. That was very nice of him."
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Monday, 20 March 2006 16:50 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 20 March 2006 16:55 (7 years ago) Permalink
Storied Church May Be Victim of Katrina St. Augustine, Founded in 1841, Is Called Vital Link to Culture of New Orleans
By Kari Lydersen Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, March 19, 2006; A07
NEW ORLEANS -- Parishioners at one of the nation's oldest African American Catholic churches may have celebrated their last Mass as a parish last Sunday, even as they continued their efforts this week to keep the doors open at St. Augustine.
The church, in the Treme neighborhood near the French Quarter, is a center of racial harmony and great jazz, playing a central role in New Orleans history and culture. With so much of the city devastated by Hurricane Katrina, local residents are rallying behind the church and hoping the parish can be saved.
"The people of New Orleans have lost so much; we don't want to lose this," said Sandra Gordon, 52, a church volunteer who has been coming to St. Augustine since 1965, when Hurricane Betsy destroyed her former church.
In the face of a much-reduced city population and physical damage to many churches post-Katrina, the Archdiocese of New Orleans is closing seven parishes and delaying the reopening of 23 churches. Attendance at St. Augustine, down to fewer than 200 people pre-Katrina, increased significantly afterward. But archdiocese officials said current attendance is not enough. ....
It was one of the first churches where slaves, free blacks and whites worshiped together. After a period as a segregated white church and then a black church, it has had an interracial congregation and services that blend elements of Catholicism with African spirituality and homegrown New Orleans culture. Portraits of the African American "Mardi Gras Indians" are displayed side by side with saints on the walls, and the church is known for popular jazz masses and jazz funerals, including an annual "Louis Armstrong Jazz Mass."
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Monday, 20 March 2006 19:27 (7 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 17:58 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 19:48 (7 years ago) Permalink
I think they added rapper Juvenile to the Fest (he has/had the #1 selling cd on the Billboard charts recently) and he is apparently going to be backed by jam band Galactic, who also backed him on the Jimmy Kimmel show. On the jazzfest website chatboard some of the jambanders and other aging hippies were whining about a rapper being added. Ugh to those complainers.
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 20:56 (7 years ago) Permalink
Juvee + Galactic? Weird.
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 20:59 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 21:00 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 23 March 2006 02:28 (7 years ago) Permalink
"...on Christmas Day the Times-Picayune--declaring that "before a community can rebuild, it must dream"--published a vision of what a smaller-but-better New Orleans might look like: "Tourists and schoolchildren tour a living museum that includes the former home of Fats Domino and Holy Cross High School, a multiblock memorial to Katrina that spans the devastated neighborhood." "Living museum" (or "holocaust museum," as a black friend bitterly observed) sounds like a bad joke, but it is the elite view of what African-American New Orleans should become. In the brave New Urbanist world of Canizaro and Kabacoff, blacks (along with that other colorful minority group, Cajuns) will reign only as entertainers and self-caricatures. The high-voltage energy that once rocked juke joints, housing projects and second-line parades will now be safely embalmed for tourists in a proposed Louisiana Music Experience in the Central Business District.
But this minstrel-show version of the future must first defeat a remarkable local history of grassroots organization. The Crescent City's best-kept secret--in the mainstream press, at least--has been the resurgence of trade-union and community organizing since the mid-1990s. Indeed, New Orleans, the only Southern city in which labor was ever powerful enough to call a general strike, has become an important crucible of new social movements. In particular, it has become the home base of ACORN, a national organization of working-class homeowners and tenants that counts more than 9,000 New Orleans member-families, mostly in triage-threatened black neighborhoods."
Not sure I agree with everything Davis asserts, but I thought I'd put it out there for discussion.
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Friday, 24 March 2006 20:52 (7 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Friday, 24 March 2006 22:14 (7 years ago) Permalink
What are your thoughts on the future of New Orleans rap and New Orleans cultural life in general?
NC: Unless the black neighborhoods are restored, there can be no real future for rap in New Orleans. The authorities seem bent on portraying all young black males as looters and gangstas. This is nonsense, as my book makes clear. The city can have no genuine life without its youth. If the Mardi Gras Indian tribes and second-line parades are reduced to tourist attractions, as seems to be the plan, everything that has made the city so alive and ever-evolving will wither. Even those who dislike rap should understand that it's the music of the streets today. Banish it, and New Orleans becomes a museum.
Have you had any contact with the artists and personalities so vividly described in Triksta, such as Choppa, Junie B, Earl Mackie, and Supa Dave, since the book went to print? How are they doing?
NC: I'm in contact with the great majority of people in the book, except those I'd already parted ways with pre-Katrina. They all survived the hurricane but lost everything: homes, jobs, possessions. They are scattered around the South, some in Houston, some in Atlanta, and others in Dallas, San Antonio, and Florida. Only Seventh Ward Snoop and Wild Wayne are back in New Orleans. Most of the others want to return but, as I've explained, they're being kept out."
― curmudgeon (DC Steve), Saturday, 25 March 2006 21:19 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Saturday, 25 March 2006 21:25 (7 years ago) Permalink
I posted this over on ILX, but it's obvious this thread is the place for it:
The Mardi Gras Index: New Orleans by the numbers 6 months after Katrina:http://www.reconstructionwatch.org/MardiGrasReport6.pdf
We need a solidarity movement with evacuees around the country to deal with these issues on a massive-protest scale. Anyone game? Or should we just joing ACORN? What should we do?
― Pete Scholtes (Pete Scholtes), Monday, 27 March 2006 23:17 (7 years ago) Permalink
What should we do?
I don't know, but if you figure it out, tell me.
― Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 00:13 (7 years ago) Permalink
― adam (adam), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 00:40 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Pete Scholtes (Pete Scholtes), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 00:45 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Pete Scholtes (Pete Scholtes), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 01:03 (7 years ago) Permalink
I wish I could be as positive about ACORN as Mike Davis but I am not.Bush and the Republics seem uninterested in building the levees to category 5 level or to restoring the wetlands. FEMA won't even draw up the flood insurance maps that have been promised (and there's still no new permanent head of FEMA). It's all well and good to say you want 9th Warders to return, but to what--unless you can protect the folks from flooding, you're sentencing them to another Katrina or worse. And of course pre-Katrina New Orleans had its problems that still need to be dealt with--good luck in getting the Republicans (actually any politicians of either party) to propose anything creative regarding education, job-training, crime, etc.
Musically, Without the school system and young African-Americans in brass bands learning from their elders in brass bands, it's not clear how vital this culture can remain. Certain brass bands and related Mardi Gras Indian troups will hold on, but they'll be more isolated. But these musicians, be they now stuck in a Disney museum city or not, deserve support and not dismissal as minstrels. And folks of all races shouldn't be ashamed to see them and support them.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 28 March 2006 05:47 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 15:27 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Pete Scholtes (Pete Scholtes), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 16:15 (7 years ago) Permalink