neworleans: November 2007 Archives

Through my months on end in New Orleans during the past two years, few have inspired me on and off the bandstand and especially in the streets like the members of the Hot 8 Brass Band. In a city pushing hard to move forward yet ever-pulled by its powerful past, hit hard by tragedy yet soothed by transcendent charms, no band better embodies these complicated tensions, nor the simple power of African rhythms, modern black music, and the second-line parade.

I'm in New York now, where the Hot 8 will swing through and, in the space of four days, play Joe's Pub (11/24) and the Lincoln Center tree-lighting (11/26), and, along with me, present a workshop/discussion for students at Harlem's Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts (11/27).

Here's what I had to say about the band in this week's Village Voice:

November 21, 2007 10:22 AM | | Comments (0)

It's rare irony that finds me frustrated about missing a significant New Orleans musicial moment because I'm still in New Orleans: Fats Domino makes his first appearance in New York in two decades on Thursday, Nov. 8th at Pink Elephant (a benefit for the Tipitina's Foundation). Here's my Village Voice piece with more background.

November 7, 2007 10:44 AM | | Comments (0)

Those who attended Terence Blanchard's Saturday night concert with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at Tulane University's Dixon Hall heard the trumpeter tell his story through music. And as Blanchard led his quintet and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra through the music of his latest Blue Note CD, A Tale of God's Will, largely drawn from his score to Spike Lee's HBO documentary 'When the Levees Broke," still shots from the film were projected above the stage, supporting the music with visuals This made for some touching moments, as when the post-Katrina ruins of the Blanchard's childhood home flashed above, as well as an awkward one, when, for a prolonged moment, the image of Mayor Ray Nagin loomed over the musicians.

Blanchard, who spoke touchingly and sometimes humorously between numbers, had one moment of memorable defiance and drew deep belly laughs when he shared his retort to concerned folks he's encountered while on the road since Katrina: "Don't worry about us in New Orleans" he said. "We'll be fine because we hate your music and we can't stand your food."

But mostly it was Blanchard's tale, as related through compositions by he and his band members. Here's how the trumpeter spilled it out in words for the October issue of Jazziz magazine:


In 1980, trumpeter Terence Blanchard left his home in New Orleans - first for Rutgers University in New Jersey, then Art Blakey's band, and finally, Brooklyn, New York, where he settled in 1982. In the fall of 1995, he moved back to New Orleans for a number of reasons, including a desire to recapture the simple joys of his musical roots.

On Sunday, August 28, 2005, Blanchard and his family evacuated their city as Hurricane Katrina approached. By December 1, they were back, picking up the pieces of daily life, along with so many of their neighbors. Through his new Blue Note CD, A Tale of God's Will: A Requiem for Katrina, and through collaborations with director Spike Lee, with his working band, and his trumpet, Blanchard has slowly begun expressing the complex emotions left in the wake of the flood. He shares them here.

By Terence Blanchard
with Larry Blumenfeld

SILENCE WAS ALL I HEARD when I listened for the music of my requiem for Hurricane Katrina. And silence is the dominant memory of the first time I visited my mother's house after the flood. Standing in front of her house I heard no birds, no one cutting grass, no insects, no cars - nothing.

November 7, 2007 10:37 AM | | Comments (0)



About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the neworleans category from November 2007.

neworleans: October 2007 is the previous archive.

neworleans: December 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads

AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.