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Original Dixieland Jazz Band: Nick LaRocca’s Jazz Pioneers

Only four years before I learned to play the trumpet…the first great jazz orchestra was formed in New Orleans by a cornet player named Dominic James LaRocca. They called him […]

New Music-Progressive in Perspective: An OffBeat Primer

On a recent Saturday night, the variety of music available in New Orleans was enough to generate an Excedrin headache in even the most earnest of aficionados. The French Quarter, […]

Zydefest

Looking for a hot time over the Labor Day weekend? With South Louisiana’s sultry summer weather and a zydeco festival, you’ve got it! The seventh annual Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival […]

Obscure Wonders

Most visitors to New Orleans are quickly made aware of the standard sights and tourist fare. Beyond Bourbon Street there is the French Quarter, the Garden District, the streetcar, the […]

The Roots of Jazz, Part Two

While many people think of jazz strictly in terms of brilliant soloists, the heart of jazz remains essentially an ensemble music of collective improvisation that swings and employs “blue notes.” […]

Quintessential Louisiana Cool

In certain places and times there have been those among us who have been so proficient in expressing their unique inner fires that even while pushing everything to the edge […]

Keeping One’s Cool

“Summertime and livin’ is easy…” Who said that? Well, it is kind of easy you know, because in this kind of tropical climate you simply must take it easy. Push […]

Reggae: Rastaman Vibrations in the Park

The types of music whose genealogical trees are rooted in New Orleans are about as many as the number of bands you can see on any Saturday night. Blues, jazz, […]

Steamboats: An American Legend Lives On

“Tote that barge. Lift that bale. Get a little drunk and you land in jail…Ole Man River, he just keeps rollin’ along…” Those famous lyrics sung by Paul Robeson in […]

The Roots of Jazz, Part One

New Orleans is internationally famous as the birthplace of jazz. From jazz’s birth at the turn of the century to its diverse manifestations in contemporary times, our congressionally-declared “national treasure” […]