Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL is May 16-18, 2014 - www.hangoutmusicfest.com

Treme’s Bicentennial Kickstarts This Weekend With Cutting Edge Conference

It’s no secret that music is among the most renowned aspects of New Orleans culture, but how much do you know about its earliest history? Much as opera evolved from European culture, Congo Square served as the venue for African rhythms before the creation of jazz set fire for America. NOLA’s musical heritage can be discovered this weekend at the Cutting Edge 2012 Conference events celebrating the neighborhood that made it happen: Treme.

Congo Square in Armstrong Park, the epicenter of African culture in New Orleans

“From Africa To Treme: A 200-Year Journey” unveils the district’s unique background. What about it—politically, culturally, historically—sprouted a nationwide musical tradition that continues to grow today? How can those same aspects be applied to other cities that wish to acquire their own music brand? Kurt Weigle, president and CEO of New Orleans’ Downtown Development District will speak on how to maximize current trends, heading up several discussions on touring and using social media to promote work.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, September 27, amid a packed itinerary of activities and lectures, the Louisiana Music Factory will hold its own celebration to mark the business’ Lifetime Achievement Award honor.

A Downtown Music Festival coincides with the conference on Friday and Saturday, just the beginning of fall-filled events in honor of Treme’s bicentennial this October.

The 2012 Cutting Edge Conference runs through Sunday, September 30.

Visit the event’s website for a full schedule of events and times. The conference will be held at Gallier Hall, 545 St. Charles Ave and Lafayette Square.

– Beck “zaelyna” Brexlyn