New Music Year Awaits

This year has brought a lot of changes to New Orleans. We have a new woman mayor, for the first time in the history of the City. Ms. Cantrell has been very receptive to the issues facing the music and cultural communities in her tenure as a City Councilperson and during her candidacy for mayor, so I have hopes that she will address issues  that affect musicians and music venues. How about a simple measure to create loading zones for musicians’ use to load in at venues. Sounds simple, and it’s sorely needed.

Can we talk about more police protection allocated to Frenchmen Street? Can we please do something about the sewers and drainage? How about some standardization for grbage pickup and disposal. Can we give a little more priority to making sure Bourbon Street gets really open again? Revamping the drainage system has taken way way too long, and it’s seriously affecting the merchants on Bourbon Street, which is, after all the heart of our tourist economy.

A lot of hard decisions have to be made on zoning and noise ordinances, on street musicians and the like. Will Mayor Cantrell be up for the task?

Also in the last year, we saw Irvin Mayfield and Ronald Markham of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra  be indicted by the feds on 19 charges, including using money from the New Orleans Public Library Foundation for personal use. A shame and a demonstration of a pride before a fall. Mayfield is still gigging in New Orleans until he can go to trial. Maybe he should have stuck with making music instead of trying to acquire power and money through means that would bring him down.

We lost Fats Domino. We’re going to lose many of our older musicians in the not too distant future.  I hope the city’s leadership considers the impact of music on our city as an integral part of its culture and as a major attraction to visitors from around the world. Naming some of our streets and monuments after musicians would be a very wise thing to do. Lee Circle? No—Fats Domino Circle! Beauregard Circle? How about Allen Toussaint Circle? We can do better than naming our monuments only after symbols of war, Make music, not war!

Dixie Beer came back, and it’s advertising like crazy to build up the old nostalgia for a homegrown brand.

And, of course, there are the Saints. Not my bailiwick, but you have to definitely have hope and cheer them on.

Rock ‘N’ Bowl de Lafayette is under construction in the city to our west and will expand the famous brand to the Cajun capitol. The Carver Theater closed, a victim of the financial fallout from the demise of First NBC failure…another venue bites the dust. Lakeshore Landing will create another venue on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain and create a triad of entertainment properties run by the same owners of Tipitina’s and the Orpheum Theater. WWOZ hired a new general manager, Beth Arroyo Utterback, who spent 25 years at WYES building up the station.

 

Happy New Year to all! This year has brought a lot of changes to New Orleans. We have a new woman mayor, for the first time in the history of the City. Ms. Cantrell has been very receptive to the issues facing the music and cultural communities in her tenure as a City Councilperson and during her candidacy for mayor, so I have hopes that she will address issues  that affect musicians and music venues. How about a simple measure to create loading zones for musicians’ use to load in at venues. Sounds simple, and it’s sorely needed.

Can we talk about more police protection allocated to Frenchmen Street? Can we please do something about the sewers and drainage? How about some standardization for grbage pickup and disposal. Can we give a little more priority to making sure Bourbon Street gets really open again? Revamping the drainage system has taken way way too long, and it’s seriously affecting the merchants on Bourbon Street, which is, after all the heart of our tourist economy.

A lot of hard decisions have to be made on zoning and noise ordinances, on street musicians and the like. Will Mayor Cantrell be up for the task?

Also in the last year, we saw Irvin Mayfield and Ronald Markham of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra  be indicted by the Feds on 19 charges, including using money from the New Orleans Public Library Foundation for personal use. A shame and a great demonstration of a overweening pride before a fall. Mayfield is still gigging in New Orleans until he can go to trial. Maybe he should have stuck with making music instead of trying to acquire power and money through means that would bring him and NOJO down. Thankfully, NOJO is still operating and hanging on.

We lost Fats Domino. We’re going to lose many of our older musicians in the not too distant future.  I hope the city’s leadership considers the impact of music on our city as an integral part of its culture and as a major attraction to visitors from around the world. Naming some of our streets and monuments after musicians would be a very wise thing to do. Lee Circle? No—Fats Domino Circle! Beauregard Circle? How about Allen Toussaint Circle? We can do better than naming our monuments only after symbols of war, Make music, not war!

Dixie Beer came back, and it’s advertising like crazy to build up the old nostalgia for a homegrown brand.

And, of course, there are the Saints. Not my bailiwick, but you have to definitely have hope and cheer them on.

Rock ‘N’ Bowl de Lafayette is under construction in the city to our west and will expand the famous brand to the Cajun capitol. The Carver Theater closed, a victim of the financial fallout from the demise of First NBC failure…another venue bites the dust. Lakeshore Landing will create another venue on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain and create a triad of entertainment properties run by the same owners of Tipitina’s and the Orpheum Theater. WWOZ hired a new general manager, Beth Arroyo Utterback, who spent 25 years at WYES building up the station.

We’ll be adding two new riverboats to the city: the  3,000-passenger “Riverboat Louis Armstrong” (like the old President?) and the 1,000-passenger City of New Orleans will join the Steamboat Creole Queen and the Natchez to add more music and entertainment options to our riverfront.

And last but not least, OffBeat celebrated its 29th year of promoting the local music scene, with our 30th anniversary coming up in 2018. There will be more to come! Happy New Year to all!

  • louise

    Enjoyed your article. Re the monuments let them empty. We are not a total BLACK city yet. the base of Lee reminds us of how the Mayor and city council shafted the city. If they were so sure the populace wanted them down, there should have been a vote. Not every tourist dollar earned is because of music and musicians. I think statues of Fats and Toussaint are appropriate, but in a different new location.