These presentations, dubbed “informances”, are given by respected
New Orleans musical ensembles familiar with performing for children of all ages and people from other cultures. Related activities such as arts workshops, lectures and movable exhibits can also be offered as a package that engages any audience with this rich cultural legacy to American popular music. Each one hour informance will expose a different element of jazz history in a show full of audience participation.
PROPS FOR POPS
A tribute to Louis Armstrong with Charmaine Neville and her band. Through songs by and about Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Reggie and Charmaine give a narrative overview of this important performer and world ambassador of jazz. Satchmo’s early development in New Orleans is highlighted and students learn through participation about improvisation and “scat” singing.
Related Activity: “Satchmo, the Louisiana Years” exhibit
The tabletop exhibit consists of archival photos and text focusing on Louis Armstrong’s life in New Orleans prior to leaving for Chicago in 1922. It also shows the numerous times he came back to visit the state of his birth. What is shown is a mini-biography of the talented boy from a poor neighborhood overcoming obstacles on his way to worldwide stardom. Photographs were provided by the Louisiana State Museum, The Hogan Jazz Archives at Tulane University, the Louis Armstrong House & Archives at Queens College and was made possible through a grant from Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibit can be shown in a secured area adjacent to the live informance.
THE BRASS BAND TRADITION
with the Euphonious Brass Band
With exuberant parade marches, get down jamming and a mock jazz funeral, the band shows the history of the New Orleans brass band from its traditional past to its relevance for a whole new generation as students learn how to "second line".
Related Arts Activity: SECOND LINE CREATION STATION> providing a uniquely New Orleans crafts workshop. The one hour session allows children a hands on demonstration of the long tradition in our African American community of second line parades. The workshop will be led by Cherice Harrison Nelson, Mardi Gras Indian Queen and public school teacher with help from members of social aid & pleasure clubs. With paints, beads and fabric, kids of all ages will be given the tools to create second line umbrellas, sashes and corsages that adorn the many dancers in these parades. The workshop will conclude with an opportunity for participants to show off their new creations in an actual second line behind a New Orleans brass band.
Related Activity: The Passing Parade: The Brass Band Tradition of New Orleans. Through archival photos and text, this exhibit details the history of the Brass Band tradition in New Orleans, and that traditions importance in both the musical and cultural life of the city. (Note: we are in the process of expanding this exhibit to include interactive multi-media features).
SPIRITS of CONGO SQUARE
with Donald Harrison & the Jazz Legacy Ensemble
Modern jazz saxophonist Donald Harrison will be showing through his music how jazz and popular music to the present day was influenced by the unique African traditions of historic New Orleans neighborhoods. Highlights include a segment on the Mardi Gras Indian tradition and bringing students up for a Hip-Hop meets Jazz Jam at the end. Donald and his trumpeter Christian Scott are son and grandson respectively of legendary Mardi Gras Indian Chief Donald Harrison, Sr. Donald Harrison,Jr.has recorded a number of jazz albums incorporating jazz, New Orleans music and contemporary rhythms.
RHYTHMS ON THE RIVER
with “Popa” Henry Butler & his Steaming Syncopators
This presentation combines live performance and an exhibit with a riverboat excursion to create a fun filled jazz history experience. Parents are encouraged to bring their children as jazz pianist & singer “Popa” Henry Butler & his Steaming Syncopators educate through word and song about the pivotal connection the Mississippi Steamboats had in Louis Armstrong’s career and with bringing the new sounds of jazz to the American heartland. Participants will hear classic New Orleans jazz and other river influenced music as the story of the early 1900's jazz excursions unfolds.
Related Activity: An acclaimed exhibit can also be on display, “Riverboats and Jazz”, offered by the Hogan Jazz Archives of Tulane University.