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Group poses for photos at awards gala.

New Orleans and All that Jazz

New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz and blues and was the only place in America during the time of slavery that allowed slaves to own drums. They created, played, and danced to music as a form of communication and release. Music was not only a luxury; it was a necessity for survival. You will hear local historians and tour guides mention African slaves were by far some of the most creative and intelligent people to ever live in America due to their musical advancements.

Musical roots from African, Latin American, and European have meshed together to create a melting pot of musical creativity and diversity that sets New Orleans tunes apart from any other place in the world. Musicians like Louis Armstrong helped influence and place New Orleans on the map in the music industry; Jazz and blues even directly influenced the rock n roll movement. In addition, funk music was created in the 60s and New Orleans musicians heavily influenced the expansion of the genre. Without the originality and passion that New Orleans musicians created, the music industry as we know it, wouldn’t be the same.

You will spot many local artist set up on the street corners performing for passerby’s; tip jars are usually placed to the side, and if you like what you hear, don’t be shy to leave the musician a tip for his or her efforts.

Here is a link to a video of a street performance by Rebirth Brass Band. They are a well known local brass band and perform on the streets, venues, weddings, funerals, and festivals all year round.

If you are interested in learning about culture and history of New Orleans, you should check out the Louisiana Historical Center. It is located in the French Quarter at the US Mint. You will be able to view historical documents, instruments, and some art at one of the best archives in America. There are also events and seminars that are held throughout the year. Visits and viewing at the historical center are free of charge. For hours and more information- visit http://musicatthemint.org

If you like some of the music you hear around town or take some time to search on YouTube, you might even come across a track that would make help an excellent pole piece. 😉

Rebirth Brass Band (photo), see them perform: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E1VBCcA76E

Ariel Blanco
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