Dancing Man 504
Your response [Letters to the Editor, April 2018] ignores an important but seemingly obvious distinction between Mardi Gras Indian culture and the more general New Orleans parade traditions. The second line tradition is essentially an invitation to participate. Isn’t the whole point of an invitation to step off the sidewalk and join in? Mardi Gras Indian tribes on the other hand are not open clubs. Quite the opposite they have historically been somewhat secretive, even within their own communities, and thus fit into the age-old tradition of masking that lives on in New Orleans. I think the fact that the culture remained insular amongst the rest of New Orleans Mardi Gras culture over the years is the reason they still command a reverence today.
—Hugh Teatsworth, Eagle Rock, California
Erika sings Louisiana but does not talk it, is she changing for the atmosphere, no complaints just asking. Yes I love their music and I do buy their CDs.
—Tim Sutton, Greensboro, North Carolina
The following letter is in response to Jan Ramsey’s blog post, “Commitment Needed,” asking for support for musicians.
I have never written a letter to a magazine but I had to respond to Jan Ramsey’s Mojo Mouth piece, “Commitment Needed” (April 2018). I couldn’t agree more. My only addition to the editorial is that perhaps OffBeat could provide a guide of specific ways that New Orleanians and all readers of OffBeat can love and support the music, the musicians themselves and the culture of New Orleans. Ramsey writes, “There’s lip service on music’s importance in our lives… [but] Where is the passion?” Beyond a very simple and obvious first step of paying for music and putting money in the tip jars (which we should of course keep doing) there are numerous amazing organizations, charities, institutions that need our support—by volunteering time, energy, skills and money. A very partial (and please excuse me) inevitably incomplete list might include such groups as Tipitina’s Foundation, New Orleans Musicians’ Assistance Foundation/Musicians’ Clinic, Roots of Music, Make Music NOLA, Ashé Cultural Center, Cajun Music Preservation Society, Threadhead Cultural Foundation, Trombone Shorty Foundation, the Ellis Marsalis Center, WWOZ, the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans and on and on. If we are honest about loving the music and the musicians, we need to put our money and our bodies where our mouths are.
—Julie Nalibov, New Orleans, Louisiana
Very well said. Over the years—while trying to promote New Orleans and Louisiana music and musicians for over 30 years—we’re convinced that local residents and business’ overall support for our music is still lacking. We don’t really promote this overtly, but we should let you know that the OffBeat Music and Cultural Arts Foundation’s Best of the Beat Music and Music Business Awards events are produced by a non-profit that needs support from the people who love music. Without the help of the community and our sponsors, OMACAF would not be able to keep the events going. It is not a revenue-producing venture; it only exists to make the musicians and music infrastructure businesses feel that they are doing something special and worthwhile. We suggest you add OMACAF to your list of groups that deserve your support.—Ed.
This saddens me greatly. I live in Australia and whilst there is a huge distance I was lucky enough to see Charles and his brothers perform on their regular tours down under. From all music fans god bless Charles and the Neville Nation.
—Craig Strath, Caloundra, Queensland, Australia
OffBeat welcomes letters from its readers—both comments and criticisms. To be considered for publication, all letters must be signed and contain the current address and phone number of the writer. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for length or content deemed objectionable to OffBeat readers. Please send letters to Editor, OffBeat Publications, 421 Frenchmen St., Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116.