New Orleans Music History and Traditions
New Orleans is a city that has a vibrant history when it comes to art and music. It is the perfect place for music lovers, especially for those who love jazz music. The history of slavery and colonialism has played a major role in shaping the music and making New Orleans music what it is today.
Did you know that the very first opera house in North America was in New Orleans? Did you also know that New Orleans is the birthplace of popular music legends like Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Jelly Roll Morton and more?
Birthplace of Jazz
In fact, New Orleans is known to be the birthplace of Jazz. Although the city has a rough history when it comes to slavery and racism, New Orleans has nonetheless been very open-minded and embracing the talent of African Americans. Talent was always recognized and appreciated here.
A Unique City
New Orleans is unlike any other American city. It never sought to destroy the culture and traditions of the African slaves. There was also a large percentage of black people here who were free from the throes of slavery. Many of them were picking up their guitars and singing their hearts out.
Jazz music had the rest of America enthralled. Gospel music in New Orleans is another beautiful gift to the world. It is said that gospel music originated in the southern plantations. The churches were all filled with the most brilliant music, rhymes, rhythmic dancing and passion.
Many jazz musicians took their talents to the church. In fact, the queen of gospel music, Mahalia Jackson, was born on Water Street in New Orleans. Martin Luther King regarded her as a rare talent that comes once in a millennium.
Hence, we can see how the cultural environment in New Orleans has always been so unique and fascinating. It all started from Papa Jack Laine’s musical formation. It has now led to a huge number of incredibly talented musicians from all races and social backgrounds uniting in the name of talent and music.
Apart from the gospel music, the wonderful blues by rural guitarists, New Orleans is also well known for its enjoyable military marching bands, parades and ragtime piano. When musicians think of New Orleans, they think of improvisation, experimentation, fascinating music developments and discoveries.
The influence of Jazz and Blues on the music we see today cannot be overemphasized. For those who miss the old days of people enjoying Jazz and wish for its revival, New Orleans is undoubtedly a haven where the old ways of music are still alive.
The music composed and played in New Orleans reflects the profound history, suffering, woe and sentiment of the life lived in the old days. The music here comes from an authentic place, unlike modern music, which has more commercial ambition.