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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Heritage of New Orleans #JazzFest | The Bluegrass Situation


By Steve Hochman
Apr 25, 2018

Three hundred years ago just about now — May 7, 1718, so legend has it — representatives of the riches-minded colonial French Mississippi Company decided that a malaria-infested swamp in the crescent bend near the base of the river for which it was named would make a great place for a port settlement. Nouvelle-OrlĂ©ans they called it.

Thanks to them, over the course of the next couple of weekends, not too far from that original settlement, you can find a spot where, depending on how the breezes are blowing, you will be able to hear five, six, maybe seven kinds of music all at once. This is music representing cultures from all over the world — from Haiti, from Mali, from Cuba, from Brazil, from Nova Scotia, from the bayous and prairies just a few hours away, and from Congo Square on the edge of that former swamp. Music originated by escaped slaves, by French refugees booted out of Eastern Canada, by Irish dockworkers, by free people of color and landed aristocrats, by Baptist celebrants and Catholic congregants and European Jewish immigrants...

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