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New Orleans Music Today

New Orleans roots music is one of America’s most enduing regional styles. The city’s brass band, funk and traditional jazz sounds continue to be a wellspring of inspiration and grounding for musicians of many genres, and if there was concern that New Orleans music and culture would be left in the debris of Hurricane Katrina’s flooding, they have come back with renewed determination. Indeed, New Orleans has produced its first post-Katrina star in Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, and the newly rejuvenated Preservation Hall Jazz Band is collaborating with Tom Waits, Jim James and Ani DiFranco. This panel will explore the challenges of performing and promoting New Orleans music today; the opportunities afforded by interaction between New Orleans music and other genres; and the unique cultural elements—the gospel choirs, high school marching bands, second line parades and Mardi Gras music—that continue to nurture one of America’s most musical cities.

Additional Supporting Materials

Questions Answered

  1. What makes New Orleans music different from music from other cities in America? What is its history?
  2. Why has New Orleans endured?
  3. What are the challenges in playing New Orleans music (or any roots music, for that matter) away from its cultural environment?
  4. In the absence of music education in schools, why do local kids continue to play New Orleans regional styles?
  5. How can a non-pop style such as New Orleans music attract a larger audience?

Speakers

Organizer

Scott Billington Rounder Records


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