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Topic: Katrina stops the music in New Orleans

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  1. #1
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    Katrina stops the music in New Orleans

    There's an article in Reuters about the devastating effect of Katrina on the vibrant New Orleans music tradition.

    "Katrina not only felled a city: it stopped the music.

    While the human toll of Hurricane Katrina defies imagination, New Orleans is also reeling from a cultural loss from which it might not recover.

    The city is home to a rich, thick musical gumbo of styles from rhythm and blues to zydeco and the birthplace of jazz, the American music that started in the brothels of the city's Storyville section and spread around the world.

    Now streets where jazz funerals would parade past and where smoky clubs would jam through the night are under water.

    Many wonder whether the great musical tradition forged by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair and the Neville Brothers has been drowned by the savagery of Katrina....


    "New Orleans was a cultural phenomenon that created the birth of jazz -- the first, great unique American art form," said Shelton Berg, professor of jazz studies at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.

    "So anything that wipes out something that defines a unique part of the American existence is a side tragedy," Berg said....You're wiping from the earth the cradle of a culture," he said.

    Although there is some debate, many historians believe jazz emerged in New Orleans not far from the French Quarter in the city's Treme district, which includes Storyville, after the end of the Civil War when former slaves started arriving in the city in late 1800s.

    "I've heard the whole area of Treme's underwater. It's such a loss. It's one of the most culturally significant neighborhoods, the cradle of jazz," said Michael Murphy, a New Orleans filmmaker whose documentary, "Make It Funky," chronicles the evolution and influence of black music from its roots in New Orleans....

    Some believe jazz was first commercialized in the raucous Storyville section of Treme in the late 1890s when it boasted many 24-hour bordellos. "The music was born on the pianos of the front parlor of the brothels," said Los Angeles-based comedian Harry Shearer, who has strong ties to New Orleans. Band leaders and composers of that time, Buddy Bolden, King Oliver, Sidney Bechet, and "Jelly Roll" Morton, soon became the larger-than-life founders of Jazz. The Marsalis Family, Harry Connick Jr., the Neville Brothers, and Fats Domino have continued the tradition of keeping music and jazz in the vanguard of New Orleans culture at various clubs around the city."

    The entire article can be read here.

  2. #2

    Re: Katrina stops the music in New Orleans

    Jazz is not a street.

    Culture is not a landmark.

    Music will not be stopped so long as people are left to spread its story.

    They'll go to Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, and back to St. Louis and Kansas City to plant new seeds.

    Jazz is living, breathing, and evolving.

    - m
    Free MFX and other plugins: http://www.TenCrazy.com/
    Markleford's music: http://www.markleford.com/music/

  3. #3

    Re: Katrina stops the music in New Orleans

    In my first book, one of the running jokes was the night watchman's Attack Chihuahua. I searched the Internet to find pictures suitable for the web site, and eventually found a place called www.ChiwawaGaga.com. I called them and they were great folks. The owner of the shop, Elayne Angel, sent pictures of one of her Chihuahuas, Angelo, dressed up in a biker jacket and combat fatigues for me to use.

    Chiwawa Gaga is located in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

    I've emailed Elayne and was happy to hear that she and all of her people safely got out of the city. Furthermore, the French Quarter is on high ground and wasn't flooded. This gives me hope for the future of the unique musical and cultural center that New Orleans has come to represent.

    Of course, who knows how long she and her people will be without income, let along the ability to go back home. However, they're all safely relocated, and the latest reports she's received is that Chiwawa Gaga still stands.

    Amidst so much tragedy, I just had to share a small story of relative good fortune. I've met a lot of nice folks over the years who have gone out of their way to help me in matters large and small, for no other reason than kindness and the quality of their character. Tonight, I drink a toast to a group of them who survived, and to Chihuahuas everywhere who are safe and dry.
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  4. #4
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    Re: Katrina stops the music in New Orleans

    Chris,

    Glad Elayne and her people are safe. With all the bad news it's good to see a ray of hope. Thanks for posting this.

    Gary Garritan

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Duncan
    In my first book, one of the running jokes was the night watchman's Attack Chihuahua. I searched the Internet to find pictures suitable for the web site, and eventually found a place called www.ChiwawaGaga.com. I called them and they were great folks. The owner of the shop, Elayne Angel, sent pictures of one of her Chihuahuas, Angelo, dressed up in a biker jacket and combat fatigues for me to use.

    Chiwawa Gaga is located in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

    I've emailed Elayne and was happy to hear that she and all of her people safely got out of the city. Furthermore, the French Quarter is on high ground and wasn't flooded. This gives me hope for the future of the unique musical and cultural center that New Orleans has come to represent.

    Of course, who knows how long she and her people will be without income, let along the ability to go back home. However, they're all safely relocated, and the latest reports she's received is that Chiwawa Gaga still stands.

    Amidst so much tragedy, I just had to share a small story of relative good fortune. I've met a lot of nice folks over the years who have gone out of their way to help me in matters large and small, for no other reason than kindness and the quality of their character. Tonight, I drink a toast to a group of them who survived, and to Chihuahuas everywhere who are safe and dry.

  5. #5
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    Re: Katrina stops the music in New Orleans

    Here's another story from the BBC

    Jazz lovers are fearing the worst for the musical heritage of the city New Orleans, which has been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Aside from the huge human and economic loss to the Louisiana city, jazz fans are concerned that much of the music's history may have been lost forever....

    Flooding reached famous streets like Bourbon Street, a thoroughfare celebrated in numerous songs and home to venues played by stars like Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong - both New Orleans natives. Residents of another hotspot, Basin Street, which inspired standards like Basin Street Blue, had to be helped to safety by rescuers in boats.

    For jazz musicians, seeing New Orleans in this way has been deeply distressing. It is like the death of a beloved relative British jazz musician and writer Digby Fairweathe

    The website of popular venue Preservation Hall, open since 1961, says it is closed "indefinitely" as a result of the hurricane.

    British jazz musician and writer Digby Fairweather says the damage to New Orleans has moved enthusiasts worldwide.

    Jazz birthplace

    "It is too early to say how bad the damage will be as it is proving difficult to contact people there," he says.

    "I worry for the likes of the New Orleans Jazz Museum, which had a phenomenal collection of artefacts.

    "For jazz musicians, seeing New Orleans in this way has been deeply distressing. It is like the death of a beloved relative.

    "The list of musicians to come from New Orleans is a who's who of jazz. People like clarinettist Johnny Dodds, Armstrong and more recent stars like Wynton Marsalis."

    Mr Fairweather, who has written books like the Rough Guide to Jazz, says New Orleans is looked upon "as the birthplace of jazz".

    He says: "It is recognised as the place where all the ingredients came together.

    "All the major figures who forged the history of jazz were mostly born in New Orleans around 1890.

    "The city's population was hugely varied, with Creole musicians trained in Paris mixing with the descendants of slaves who were versed in Africa's traditions.

    Strong spirit

    "It was a vibrant place with these styles and others like brass band music, minstrel shows, ragtime and gospel all being mixed together."

    Mr Fairweather, who has his own jazz band which has released albums with the likes of George Melly, says British jazz fans have begun their own fundraising efforts for hurricane victims.

    "The devastation is distressing but it will not damage jazz. As an act of self-expression, it will always survive."
    Richard Cook, editor of magazine Jazz Review and co-author of The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, says the loss of archives and historic artefacts is of more concern than the damage to buildings.

    "There are archives outside of New Orleans but one can only guess how many important items will have been lost," he says....

    "But if people are around to play and audiences want to hear the New Orleans style of music, then it doesn't matter so much if the venues have to be rebuilt.

    "I am sure the spirit of the city will carry on."

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