TOAST Magazine

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new orleans through the lens of michael p. smith | the fasCinating tradition of jazz funerals | preservation hall: you Can’t have a — 1

party without MusiC | secrets of the crescent city only loCals know |

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Issue 01

30 Michael P. Smith

Photographer of New Orleans Cultural Wetlands

Intro Masthead

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Welcome to TOAST Editor's Note

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Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Cities of the Dead

The Best Spots to Shop

Jazz Funerals

Cemeteries of New Orleans

For Local Art in New Orleans

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A Joyous Tradition


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Preservation Propogation

Trombone Shorty

Preservation Hall Jazz Band Has Left the Museum Behind

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A Grown-Up New Album

“He paid attention when locals took that culture for granted” Bruce Raeburn Michael P. Smith and Jazz Fest

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Emergence

Street Art in Rome

Swarming with Talent and Grace

Globetrotter

Navigating the Neighborhoods

The Paramount Theater

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Historic Architecture in Seattle Exhibition: Cross the Streets

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The Macro Museum of Art in Rome Must-See Murals in Rome

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The Best Pieces Revealed Tour Guide

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11 Best Cemeteries of New Orleans Artist Spotlight: Luke Pelletier The Gator King

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E D I T O R – I N – C H I E F

Nina Wesler M A N AG I N G

D I R E C T O R

Holly Robins S E N I O R

E D I T O R

Holly Torneby T R AV E L

A DV I S O R

Nora Ratcliffe A R T

D I R E C T O R

Mariel Odland A R T

A S S O C I AT E

Xio Lugo E V E N T

S U P P O R T

Ana Raab E D I T O R I A L

C O N T R I B U T O R S

C O V E R

Julia Rundberg Isabel Blue A DV E R T I S I N G

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A R T :

M I C H A E L P. S M I T H , T R O M B O N E S H O R T Y

ON S TAG E W I T H B O DI DDL E Y, N E W O R L E A N S JA Z Z A N D H E R I TAG E F E S T I VA L , 1 9 9 0.

This 1990 photograph by Michael P. Smith shows Troy

P R O M O T I O N

Anita Wiedenhoeft

Trombone Shorty Andrews with Bo Diddley at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. New Orleans native

AC C O U N T

Trombone Shorty began his career as a bandleader at

E X E C U T I V E

Jill Vartenigian

the young age of 6, and toured internationally for the first time at age 12 before joining Lenny Kravitz’s horn sec-

P U B L I S H E R

tion at the age of 19. Currently, he is the bandleader and

Griffin Alexander

frontman of Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, a hardedged funk band. Archival reproductions of this image

F I N D

U S

are available from The Historic New Orleans Collection.

O N L I N E

ninawesler.com/toast S AY

H E L L O

hi@ninawesler.com

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ED I T O R ’ S N O T E

I’m delighted to bring you the innagural issue of TOAST, the ultimate authority on the best of what’s new in art, entertainment, and travel. We’re on a mission to guide you through the most exciting places, new experiences, and emerging trends— to make traveling the world irresistable. Starting on the streets of Rome, to exploring the theater on and off stage in Seattle, to our spotlight on the Big Easy— we will help you get the most from every destination you visit with us by your side.   Travel is a gift we give ourselves: to see beyond our own doorstep and understand different cultures; to see how society and the earth is changing; and to see how we are all the same. Travel opens our eyes and gives us greater insight into the human condition. I know it has made me wiser, more understanding, and more grateful for every day.   As editor of this publication, I hope you will share with me the desire to travel and experience a world of art, which is especially rich in the Caribbean folklore and history of New Orleans. In this issue, we will guide you through the best places to see and shop for art, to grab muffalettas and a cafe au lait, and to immerse yourself in the culture of one of my favorite cities. As they say, Laissez les bons temps rouler.   I am so pleased to showcase the artist Michael P. Smith on our cover. His work cataloges the history and spirit or New Orleans in all its glory. Thank you to the Historic New Orleans Collection for partnering with us to share these incredible photos within our pages.   And we thank you, our reader for joining us on these adventures and look forward to spending more time with you in our future issues.

Here’s to the good life!

Nina Wesler E D I T O R – I N – C H I E F

Nina Wesler

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Street Art in Rome P H O T O G R A P H Y S T O R Y

ALIA ELSA ADY

C A M I L L A C OL AVOPE + R . S H I R A Z I

When most people think of Rome they consider the world of the classics, they think of architecture that has withstood the test of time, of ancient structures and towering statues. But they fail to imagine the fact that Rome is a cultural hub of street art. This art movement, although much more contemporary to other art work in the city is actually believed to be tied to cave paintings from a bygone era. Though, they’re far more sophisticated than etchings on a cave wall, each of the paintings mentioned here are an example of the thriving network of urban art that exists in the city.   Graffiti seems to have appeared in Philadelphia for the first time in the early sixties, reaching New York by the late sixties. The history of this art form, however, can be traced back to the first appearance of drawings in caves, where the walls were used as blank canvases for creation. Today street art and artists have achieved international fame by producing complex works often rich with political and social remarks and purpose.   The city of Rome is one of the most interesting destinations for street art. The range of work in the city is ever growing, from established works that have been in the city for many

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years, to new works that materialize over-

The ancient and Eternal City,

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entrance, which separates Quadraro from

night in various parts of town. The ancient

the adjoining district. The tunnel’s exit is

and Eternal City, where time and the history

painted by Mr.Thoms, and depicts a gigan-

of humanity has marked itself upon every

tic mouth that sucks in everything around it.

corner of its walls, has now become one of

There is a larger corner wall painted by Jim

the centers of contemporary and urban art.

Avignon, the Berlin/New York based artist

It is the first Italian city home to an influx

and last but not least at the end of the tour

of international artists such as Clemes Behr,

you can make your way to the most popu-

Herbert Baglione, MOMO, and many Italian

lar and famous piece in MURO which is the

artists, more specifically Romans such as

work of Ron English entitled Temper Tot/

Alice Pasquini, Sten Lex, Augustine Lacurci,

Baby Hulk. If you are interested in having a

Jerico and Hitnes.

guided tour you can book one for 10 euros.

The excitement around street art in Rome

The tour is available in English.

has received such international attention

Recognized as one of Rome’s art districts,

that the city of Rome recently released a map

San Lorenzo is home to students and street

of the Street Art in Rome and some street

art; from Via dei Volsci to Via degli Enotri and

art itineraries, guiding visitors through

a collective wall through Via degli Ausoni,

their quest to find the most exhilarating

there is much to be seen. It houses the works

art pieces scattered throughout the city,

of many famous international street art-

their slogan reading: Change perspective.

ists including a block-long mural by Alice

The Street is your new museum. This route

Pasquini. This area is also home to the work

includes thirteen of the fifteen municipali-

of French artist Christian Guémy aka C215,

ties in Rome and covers over thirty neighbor-

the Italian artists SOLO, Unga, The Broken

hoods ranging from central and historical

Fingaz Crew, and ABOVE a Californian,

ones such as Testaccio to more peripheral

Berlin based artist who like Banksy has

ones such as Tor Bella Monaca; there are

chosen to hide his identity. Despite being

over 150 streets listened and 330 works to

home to so many well known painters, the

be seen, the most noteworthy mentioned

playful nature of San Lorenzo has made it

in this article.

into a fertile ground for Roman artists to

where time and the

The most famous of the street art expe-

constantly use its walls as their ever chang-

history of humanity

riences that you can have here in Rome is

ing canvas.

the MURO walking tour in Quadraro. This

Pigneto a once predominantly industrial

working class neighborhood gets all of its

area is full of street art. Street artists whose

attention and visits thanks to MURO, the

work can be found here are: Hogre, Hopnn,

upon every corner

open air, free access Urban Art Museum of

Alt Novesette aka Alt97, Uno, and #cancel-

of its walls, has

Rome. You can start your walking tour on

letto# . What Pigneto is sometimes referred

Via dei Lentuli, where Diavù has painted

to is Home of Stencil, because of its famous

Art Pollinates Quadraro. Another politi-

painting of a couple in a tender embrace by

has marked itself

now become one

cally strong work here is the Nido di Vespe,

Sten & Lex who are considered the pioneers

of the centers of

Lucamaleonte that takes into account the

of stencil graffiti due to their discovery of

contemporary and

German blitz that was conducted in April of

half-shade stencil technique. They have

1944. One of the few works by a female artist

been creating work using this method since

Gio Pistone is painted over the entrance

2000 in the streets of Rome, London, Paris,

of the tunnel, a monster that guards the

Barcelona, and New York.

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The Ostiense neighborhood is a modern

has been legalized and therefore the walls

this venture for free. They were received

and trendy district where contemporary

of this zone are covered by astonishing

with much affection by the 500 residents

and creative art is condensed with public

pieces not to be missed.

of Tor Marancia. Surreal animals, giant

art and street art; it holds more than thirty

Currently the spotlight is on another

monsters, faces, super heroes all in a riot

large public works and therefore has suc-

area, Tor Marancia, a popular neighbor-

of colors, each telling a story, have trans-

cessfully embedded itself as part of the city’s

hood home to the working class and the

formed the walls of the popular housing

cultural tourism. The space was initially con-

last to be transformed beyond recog-

to yet another open air museum, conse-

ceived by gallery 999Contemporary to pro-

nition by 20 international artists from

quently creating another form of tourism

mote the area between the Piramide and San

10 countries. There are as many as 20

accessible to everyone.

Paolo stations. It was successful at making

monumental murals drawn on the build-

There is much to discover in many more

its mark in 2010 through the Outdoor Urban

ings. This project too was conceived by

neighborhoods in Rome, such as Testaccio,

Art Festival. It was during this time that

999Contemporary. These twenty murals

Centro Storico, and Trastevere, home to

JBRock painted the Wall of Fame on Via dei

are fourteen meters in length with a

the works of artists such as Space Invader,

Magazzini Generali. There are works by Blu,

surface area of 155 square meters each.

Omino71, Mr.Klevra, Diamond, Uno, and David Diavù, all of which and more can be

Sten & Lex, Ozmo, C215, JB Rock, Kid Acne,

Diamond, Mr. Kleva and Moneyless, Seth

Gaia, Borondo, Hitnes, and Lucamaleonte

and Philip Baudelocque, and Jaz are some

found through the guide and app created by

just to name a few. Street art in Ostiense

of the street artists who participated in

the City of Rome entitled StreetArt Roma.

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Cross The Streets P H O T O G R A P H Y S T O R Y

SIMON D’EXÉA

ERIC L. FLOM AND JOHN CALDBICK

Choosing creativity instead of crime is a stance that encourages art, music and sports. The revolution occurs when the street enters the museum and the museum becomes the street. Street art is a unique avant-garde that unifies youth, minorities, and the marginalized in an era of globalization. Cross the Streets at the MACRO will present a comprehensive introspection on street art through a kaleidoscope of urban art movements, including graffiti, stencil art, pop-surrealism, photography, and film. Street art in its various forms, from graffiti writing to mural painting, has a deep impact on the collective imagination. Originating as an underground movement of youthful protest, street art has positively invaded advertising, the fashion, film, and music industries, and the world at large. Cross the Streets aims to express the power of this complex and fascinating movement, highlighting its pioneers and its influence on daily life. The show will also examine street art’s role in inspiring fashion trends and the history of Roman graffiti.   The exhibition is conceived by Paulo von Vacano and produced by Drago. It fills the entire MACRO museum and includes over 180 works.

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Street Art Stories details the birth and

author’s style through the artistic medium of

in December 1979 when the Medusa Gallery

evolution of street art through a myriad

their choice. Artists invited to create works

presented the first graffiti exhibition out-

of different artists who have contributed

hail from all over the globe. To name a few;

side of the U.S. On display, are a rediscov-

to the show with their unique styles and

Mirko Reisser (DAIM)— the German street

ered group of works by Lee Quinones and Fab 5 Freddy— thought to be missing for

mediums. Entering the area, visitors are

artist who revolutionized graffiti writing

welcomed by a 14 meter site-specific instal-

and is known as the King of 3D painting,

forty years— that open a window onto the

lation by one of the biggest names in street

Chaz Bojorquez— the tattoo idol known as

generations of local graffiti writers who

art, WK Interact, whose investigation of the

the godfather of Cholo Writing, a form of

have turned Rome into a capital of inter-

urban lifestyle in his art has given life to a

West Coast calligraphy-style graffiti, and

national graffiti writing. The exposition also pays tribute to the trains of Rome’s

post futuristic scene. Next, one encounters

Evol— famous for his miniature and elabo-

walls “conquered” by the mosaics of Invader,

rate urban landscapes. Among the Roman

metro system. No other city in the world can

the French street artist who’s iconic, pix-

artists are, Diamond, known for his dis-

compete with Rome’s impressive number of

elated work is inspired by 8-bit video games.

tinct style— a cross between Art Nouveau

graffitied trains. Unlike in other European

The artist invaded Rome’s streets in 2010.

and old school tattooing— Lucamaleonte,

cities, trains in Rome were not wiped of their

The enormous Middle East Mural (over 10

master of stencil, and JBRock, who is pre-

graffiti tags, but rather left untouched for

meters) produced by Shephard Fairey aka

senting a collection of posters originating

thirty years, free to flash their bright mes-

Obey the Giant— the American street artist

from his street interventions.

sages in transit. Accompanying the works

best known for his Obama Hope poster— will

Other artists on display are Mike Giant,

of Quinones and Fab 5 Freddy, are pieces

be shown for the first time in Europe, along-

Sten and Lex, Will Barras, Cope2, Doze

by Napal and Brus, Jon and Koma, Imos, the

side a diverse selection of thirty of his works,

Green, Roa, Swoon, Fafi, Koralie, Miss

photographer Valerio Polici, and the crews

selected from different stages in his career.

Van, Hyuro, Jeremy Fish, Microbo, Bo130,

TRV and Whystyle.

Adding to the atmosphere is the exposi-

Galo, 2501, Moneyless, Giacomo Spazio,

tion Keith Haring Deleted, care of Claudio

Solomostry. The viewer is then guided

Crescentini, that presents a series of pho-

into a whole new artistic realm dedi-

tographs by Stefano Fontebasso De Martino.

cated to pop-surrealism in street art that

The photos (from the MACRO— CRDAV

includes the works of Ray Caesar, Mark

collection) are a testament to the murals

Ryden, Marion Peck, Camille Rose Garcia,

painted by Keith Haring on the Palazzo delle

Kazuki Takamatsu, Yosuke Ueno. The sur-

Esposizioni of Rome (1984) which were later

real setting also hosts wacky, eye-catch-

whitewashed for political reasons. Also by

ing sculptures (called toys) by Ron English,

Stefano Fontebasso De Martino, are pho-

the American artist who explores brand

tographs (1984-86, private collection) of

imagery and advertising through diverse

another operation by Keith Haring in Rome

channels, including comic book collaging.

on the transparent panels of the bridge

Another area dedicated to street pho-

where the A line Flaminio-Lepanto metro

tography exposes the sharp images of

crosses the Tiber river. This artwork was

acclaimed photographers Estevan Oriol,

also “deleted”.

Glen E. Friedman, Ed Templeton and Boogie.

An immense portion of wall (5 x 10 meters

A second exhibition, Writing a Roma,

per artist) is designated for street art icons

1979-2017, curated by Christian Omodeo,

whose works in a range of techniques from

the founder of Le Grand Jeu (the French

dripping to stencil and poster to canvas,

urban art bookshop), is dedicated to the

add to the exhibition. Produced specifi-

relationship between Rome and Writing.

cally on-site for the occasion of Cross the

The show focuses on graffiti writing in the

Streets, each original work characterizes its

Roman sphere through a timeline beginning

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Nearby, an area called Milestones nar-

Ma0’s design brings the street art lan-

On the 20th of May, the artist JBRock will

rates the story of street art by outlining the

guage into the museum. For Cross the

perform a rare demonstration of art shar-

groundbreaking events that mark the history

Streets, the MACRO is filled with porta-

ing during the special event The Moleskine

of the movement. Among these are the exhi-

ble and impermanent items, from traffic

Black Wall. The mural, entitled Moleskine,

bitions of Studio 14 and International Poster

signs brought in off the streets and into the

il tuo universo (Moleskine, your universe),

Art in the early 2000s, as well as, the project

museum’s great hall, to the very scaffold-

will be produced on a wall composed of 960

Izastikup, the birth of the Outdoor Festival,

ings which have been used to transform the

classic Moleskine notebooks. These very

and Fuck You All, a 1998 Glen Friedman exhi-

huge space into a fascinating urban scene.

notebooks, dubbed Black Books, belong to

bition (works from which are being lent by

The exhibition’s design incorporates all the

graffiti writers who use them to prepare

the curator Rita Luchetti Bartoli).

components belonging to the street art

their works through sketching.

The logo of the exhibition has been

movement in a way that is thought-pro-

designed by Deep Masito, frontman of

voking and quintessentially modern. Many

purchase by the public on the online Drago

Every single Black Book will be available for

the roman rap group, Colle der Fometnto,

of the materials used will be recycled as

shop. The proceeds of the Black Books sale

and among the most gifted Lettering art-

part of future building projects, which

will go to charitable causes. The live per-

ists today. The entire exhibition has been

makes Cross the Streets the most signif-

formance of JBRock will be filmed by the

set up by Studio Ma0, a team of architects

icant production to be designed by Ma0.

television company Amanita Production.

founded in Rome in 1996. Over the years,

The intention of the design is to reflect

The exhibition will kick off with an inau-

Studio Ma0’s work has expanded to incor-

a constructive process in which waste is

guration party celebrating the Rap, Hip Hop

porate multimedia installations in keep-

minimized and the life of the materials

scene and GRAFFDREAM, an international

ing with the company’s mission to connect

used does not end with the exhibition but

point of reference for Writing and Aereosol

architecture and media.

continues elsewhere.

Art, promising to be a legendary night.

The exhibition, conceived and produced by Drago, masterfully catalogs the street art phenomenon, the most globally influential art movement of the last 40 years.


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Must-see Murals P H O T O G R A P H Y S T O R Y

INGRID BA LDW IN

MARIEL HENRIED

Street Art in Rome— decadence or urban renewal? Rome has a bias towards the second. When most people think of Rome they consider the world of the classics, they think of architecture that has withstood the test of time, of ancient structures and towering statues. But they fail to imagine the fact that Rome is a cultural hub of street art. This art movement, although much more contemporary to other art work in the city is actually believed to be tied to cave paintings from a bygone era. Though, they’re far more sophisticated than etchings on a cave wall, each of the paintings mentioned here are an example of the thriving network of urban art that exists in the city. Indeed, local institutions have been continuously and successfully encouraging these kinds of initiatives. Although spontaneously discovering street art can be fun, we’ve curated a guide which spans from the historic center to lesser known neighborhoods, revealing some of the best pieces.

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Torpignattara Mural on Via Galeazzo Alessi, Villa Certosa Turquoise backdrops and dream-like eyes will be the haunting quality of this mural spanning the walls on Via Galeazzo Alessi. This mural which runs alongside the railway was organized by an association of artists named walls and was created in collaboration with a number of artists: Agostino, Arturo, David Vecchiato, Dem, Iuri, Jb Rock & Diamonds, Jonathan Pannaccio’, Lapisanplus, Serpi in Seno, Sten and Lex and Tommaso Garavini

Coffee Break on Via Ludovico Pavoni This 32m mural was powered by Etam Cru and painted by a pair of polish artists. Interestingly enough many of the buildings residents would offer coffee to the painters and so this gesture of kindness was honored through the mural.

Tom Sawyer Via Gabrio Serbelloni This iconic piece of work shows the character Tom Sawyer cleverly depicted by French street art pioneer Jef Aerosol. Accompanying this work is a quote which says You cannot touch the ground until you’ve reached the sky.

San Lorenzo Female Faces on Via dei Sabelli Alice Pasquini’s colorfully vibrant mural celebrates womanhood and carries strong feminist themes. Most of Alice’s works depict strong independent women, so keep an eye out for her artwork on the streets.

Femicide Mural on Via Dei Sardi This mural showing paper cut women realized by Elisa Caracciolo denounces femicide through placing the names of women who were victims of violence and abuse by men.

Testaccio Jumping Wolf on Via Galvani It’s a wonder how Belgian street artist ROA managed to paint this 30-meter-high mural of a wolf bracing for attack in a day! During the afternoon when this painting was finished Testaccians were watching in awe at ROA’s brush work.


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Quadraro

Ostiense

Monster on Via Decio Mure

Fronte Del Porto on Via del Porto Fluviale

Mr. Thomas uses the darkness of the tunnel to depict the face

This building once a former barrack is now the canvas for an

of a monster, sucking everything around him, from street signs

extensive mural by BLU depicting the faces of several monsters

to traffic cones and plants. And if that’s not enough he paints

and using the windows for their eyes.

him a little 3D top hat!

Fish’n Kids on Via del Porto Fluviale Temper Tot/Baby Hulk on Via dei Pisoni

Agostino Iacurci uses the facade of Ostiense’s fish market as

This character painted by New York contemporary artist Ron

the back drop for his painting of a gigantic figure swimming in

English depicts the Incredible Hulk as an angry toddler show-

a sea full of fish with drowning hands outstretched.

ing another side to unbridled brawn and power.

Wall of Fame on Via dei Magazzini Generali Hornet’s Nest on Via Monte Del Grano

In this 60-meter mural artist JB Rock depicts famous charac-

In 1944 the Nazi’s called the quarter of Quadraro a hornet’s

ters from A to Z from Dante Alighieri to Frida Kahlo to Zorro! The

nest for its ability to resist oppressor’s attacks. This mural by

artist also depicts himself among the figures in the paintings

Lucamaleonte is painted in memory of the Quadraro raid of 1944

and in the letter M we find a painting of his mom.

and the quarters enduring influence against fascism.


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Pelletier Luke spotlight: artist

The Gator King Nostalgia for youth is a potent force, a pure vision of what life could be if only we could return to that place. It disregards harsh realities, while embracing the joy, romanticizing the pain. It turns sensual memories into towering symbols that stay with us forever, shaping the values, goals, and hobbies that bring us joy in adulthood. Luke Pelletier unearths this world and these memories, tempers them, but ultimately invites us to hang out back there with him.

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uke Pelletier grew up in rural North Carolina. His reality was shaped and formed by the confluence of punk and skateboarding with traditional American values.

Living in a tourist town for much of his life, he has been heavily influenced by seasonal economies as well as the multi-level relationships, dependence, and resentment between tourists and locals. Much of Luke’s art blurs the lines between celebrating and condemning a culture that agrees to be taken advantage of while it takes advantage of others. His art is filled with personal anecdotes, dark humor, dualities, contradictions, repetition, and scenes of paradise that are simultaneously pristine and decaying. Pelletier uses photography, painting, sculpture, social practice, writing, and craft to riff on his moral dilemmas with romance, objectification, labor, competition, tourist culture, capitalism, addiction, free will, masculinity, and fun. His work playfully incorporates sentimentality and Americana, contrasting them with the inner conflicts of growing as a person and as a man.

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A lot of my inspiration comes from the f lea markets I visit in the South, the hand painted signage, building materials, alligators, and hard work. The South is a complicated place, but it’s where I’m from. I think it’ d be hard for me to make anything that doesn’t have some sort of reference to how and where I grew up.

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The Best Spots to Shop for Art in New Orleans

Countless artists from all over the world regularly flock to the Port City in search of their creative muse. Throughout the course of its history, the Big Easy, known as a haven where creative minds come to hone their craft, has placed itself on the map as a world-class fine arts powerhouse supporting and embracing every aspiring artist’s thirst to express themselves, no

Julia Street Located in the heart of the city’s renovated Warehouse Arts District, Julia Street is known for its eclectic mix of art galleries. Nicknamed ‘Gallery

matter how that might be. What has emerged from the city’s propensity

Row,’ this renovated and now-upscale

to embrace artistic endeavors is a unique, city-wide spread of artist-run

19th century corridor, is helmed in its

exhibitions, open-air markets, boutique galleries and street vendors that

majority by NOLA-based artists,

allow for both local and visiting art lovers to bring home a piece of New Orleans with them, at whichever price pleases their wallet.

making the perfect destination for contemporary art lovers. Head to Julia Street on the first Saturday of every month starting 6pm for extended gallery hours, tastings, music and more.

Magazine Street Built during the late 18th century, Magazine Street is a six-mile-long stretch filled with specialty boutiques, unique pubs and dining venues, among other attractions. Running through some of New Orleans’ most treasured neighborhoods, this Garden District commercial strip features a wide selection of art galleries offering everything from paintings and drawings to photography and sculptures.

Royal Street One of the oldest streets in New Orleans, Royal Street is a pedestrian market located in the city’s historic French Quarter neighborhood, one block over from Bourbon Street. This picturesque, 13-block stretch, adorned with colorful galleries, antique shops, boutiques and restaurants, is famous not only for housing one of the South’s greatest gallery concentration, but also for being one of the world’s most Above: Paul Lewin, "Zyla." Top Right: Ingrid Siliakus, "It's Nice That."

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06 STUDIO BE Take a journey to begin to understand

11 ASHLEY LONGSHORE STUDIO GALLERY

the complexities of race in the city and

An irreverent, funny, and fascinating

culture of New Orleans.

gallery of a local artist that recently has

2941 ROYA L ST

made quite a splash! 4537 MAGAZINE ST

07 M.S. R AU ANTIQUES Amazing antiques and jewelry. It's like a

12 BYRDIE'S POTTERY

museum in here! If you're lucky you can

In addition to serving yummy coffee &

hold a dinosaur egg or get a secret tour!

tea, this inviting coffee shop is also a

630 ROYA L STREET

delightful art gallery. 2 4 02 A S A I N T C L AU DE AV E N U E

08 RED TRUCK GALLERY 01 FRENCHMEN ART MARKET

town featuring Americana, Outsider,

13 FR ANK RELLE PHOTOGR APHY

A local art market open daily + nightly. A

and Contemporary Folk Art.

New Orleans and Southern Louisiana

nice change or scenery from the restau-

938 ROYA L STREET

Fine Art Photography you won't be able

By far one of the coolest galleries in

rant and nightlife on Frenchman Street with a great collection of local artists. 2 2 3 1 S A I N T C L AU DE AV E N U E

to resist taking home.

09 MAGAZINE STREET INTEREST

910 ROYA L STREET

Magazine Street is amazing. Full of local

14 GOOD CHILDREN GALLERY

02 DR. BOB'S FOLK ART

boutique shopping, bars, and restau-

This gallery has edgy art and hors

Quirky art studio and shop of the man

rants, you can easily walk and visit the

d'oeuvres every second Saturday.

who makes the "Be Nice or Leave" signs

entire 4-mile stroll to Audubon Park.

4 0 3 7 S A I N T C L AU DE AV E N U E

you'll see all over the city.

1030 PHILIP STREET

10 THOMAS MANN GALLERY

15 THE HISTORIC NEW ORLEANS COLLECTION

03 ARTHUR ROGER GALLERY

A variety of contemporary jewelry,

Home to Michael P. Smith's gorgeous

Polished gallery mainstay featuring

home accessories, and unique gifts by

photographs of New Orleans' life and

regional & international artists in sev-

other artists.

culture through the decades.

eral exhibit spaces.

1812 MAGAZINE STREET

533 ROYA L STREET

3027 CHARTRES STREET

432 JULIA STREET

04 THE FRONT This space recently hosted an edible insect installation where dairy goats were hailed as guests of honor. 41 0 0 S A I N T C L AU DE AV E N U E

05 JONATHAN FERR AR A GALLERY Julia street is where all the art galleries are located and the hugely popular White Linen Night in August. 400A JULIA STREET

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Cities of the Dead C E M E T E R I E S O F NEW ORL EA N S

Burying the dead in a place built below sea level was a problem that faced the earliest residents of the French settlement that became New Orleans. The solution agreed upon, to entomb the departed

city’s most lingering attractions: cemeteries that are both historic and hauntingly beautiful. Wander the purported resting places of voodoo queen Marie Laveau, musician Al Hirt and Civil War general P.G.T. Beauregard— all residents of what is known in New Orleans as the Cities of the Dead.

P H O T O G R A P H Y

SARAH CHASE

S T O R Y

KENAZ FILAN

in elaborate marble chambers above ground, created one of the

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ed X’s scrawled with lipstick, cray-

in downtown New Orleans. Although private

It’s also the spot to see Josie Arlington’s

ons and red bricks cover the Greek

property, the French Quarter is also part

1911 red granite tomb. It features a life-size

revival tomb of Marie Laveau, New

of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park.

bronze figure of a young woman holding

Orleans’ most widely known voodoo queen

Ranger Jake Garrity, stood at Laveau’s tomb,

a bouquet of roses in her hands and rap-

who died in 1897.

telling visitors the story of the voodoo queen.

The red X’s are always there. They’re

“It might seem odd to find a voodoo queen’s

ping at the tomb door.   Arlington was New Orleans’ most famous

voodoo wishes. They’re also only a part

grave in a Catholic cemetery, but in New

madam; she also designed her own tomb.

of the voodoo mystique— including coins,

Orleans, voodoo brought from Africa and

The statue symbolizes one of her standing

flowers, candles, an unopened can of beer

the Caribbean was fused with Catholicism

rules: that a virgin never be permitted to

and a decapitated chicken— that visitors

by many members of the church,” he

enter her bordello.

leave at Laveau’s last resting place, the

explained, adding, “There is always voodoo

The 150-acre immaculately manicured

Wishing Tomb.

paraphernalia at Marie’s tomb, and often

Metairie Cemetery, where several of the

New Orleans cemeteries— filled with

unexpected surprises. “On three separate

modern tombs cost $500,000 to $1 mil-

above-the-ground tombs— are so fasci-

occasions, when I led a cemetery walk and

lion, is laid out in an oval. That’s because it

nating that the National Park Service has

stood before her tomb, a calico cat came up

was a race track before it became a cem-

a ranger-led daily walk through St. Louis

and rubbed against my legs. I’m not quite

etery in 1872.

Number One, the oldest cemetery in the

sure what that all means,” he said.

Many who played prominent roles in

city, established in 1789.

Many visitors also troop to Metairie

history are buried in Metairie Cemetery.

Owned and operated by the Catholic

Cemetery, the showplace of New Orleans’

Here lies William C. Claiborne, Louisiana’s

church, St. Louis Number One is in the

graveyard architects. Many of the city’s

first governor. While in Congress, he cast

French Quarter, the 70-block historic area

wealthiest families are buried there.

the deciding vote for Thomas Jefferson in

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the deadlocked 1800 presidential election

tombs in many instances for more than

between Jefferson and Aaron Burr.

one hundred fifty years.

on smaller upright headstones and on two headstones lying flat on the ground.

In its early years, New Orleans had

“You can put as many relatives, friends

There are large society tombs where members of organizations are buried. The

numerous malaria, yellow fever and chol-

or whoever you wish in a single tomb or

era epidemics, which accounted for thou-

single grave in New Orleans,” explained

Swiss society has a tomb, so do the Italian

sands of deaths. Many parts of the city were

Johnny Braniff, 66, sexton for the Firemen’s

and Portuguese societies, the Elks Club

once cemeteries. The Superdome sits on a

Charitable & Benevolent Assn.’s Greenwood

and the New Orleans Typographical Union,

former cemetery. When road construction

Cemetery, founded in 1852.

and many more.

occurs and new structures are built, cof-

“When someone dies,” he said, “the

Many people visit the cemeteries to marvel at the sculptures. One cemetery

fins and human bones often are unearthed.

oldest coffin in a tomb or grave is removed

Above-ground tombs originally were

and destroyed. The remains of the dead

has a life-size statue of a man holding a

used because New Orleans lies below sea

person in that coffin are put in a body bag

copy of his marriage license. His widow

level on a former swamp.

in a corner of the tomb or grave.”

had the statue created to let everyone know

“Floods were common, and the dearly

Many tombs and graves will list all those

that, despite gossip to the contrary, they

departed would often dearly depart down-

buried at the site over the years. But on

had indeed been lawfully married.

stream,” explained ranger Garrity. “The

some tombs and graves, families often do

Cypress Grove and Greenwood cem-

water was so close to the surface that coffins

not bother to list every name. “It costs

eteries are owned and operated by 340

and bones would pop up and flow through

money to add each name. The families

descendants of the volunteer firemen

the city during heavy rains. The land has

know who is there. They save money by

who organized the Firemen’s Charitable

been stabilized for years, but the custom of

not inscribing all the names,” Braniff said.

& Benevolent Assn. in 1834 and later started the cemeteries. John C. Freese Jr., 44, sec-

above-the-ground tombs continues.”

At the Sbisa plot in Greenwood Cemetery,

New Orleans continues a unique ceme-

for example, there are 23 people listed

retary-treasurer, is the great-grandson of a

tery tradition: unlimited burials in tombs

as being buried in the one grave. The

volunteer fireman. There haven’t been vol-

and plots. Families have used the same

names are on a large upright headstone,

unteer firemen in New Orleans for years.

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— New Orleans —

Ernie K-Doe was laid to rest in style. He was known for recording the hit Rhythm & Blues single Mother in Law in the 1960s. He faded from public sight for decades but was back in the musical limelight when he passed away in 2001. His jazz funeral was a bit over the top even by New Orleans standards. His lifelike wax statue was in his procession and thousands lined the route on the way to his final resting place in a donated tomb in St. Louis No. 2 Cemetery. Even more grand was the jazz funeral for Tuba Fats in 2004. It started at the old City Hall on St. Charles Avenue, made its way to the French Quarter and then on to Tremé. A regular at Preservation Hall, he was loved by the public and the music community. A mentor to younger jazz players, he had played on Jackson Square, in Europe and wherever his talents took him.   Not all those honored with a jazz funeral were musicians or African Americans. The popular white and long lived retired Archbishop Philip Hannan of New Orleans had one in 2011. His jazz funeral was labeled a solemn funeral cortège in official press releases. It began at the seminary on Carrollton Avenue and made its way to St. Louis Cathedral accompanied by many marchers, school bands and jazz groups. The streets were lined with

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well wishers. He is buried below the floor

several drinking establishments and

of the sanctuary of the St. Louis Cathedral.

sponsored parades on St. Patrick’s Day.

A more typical jazz funeral begins at a

One of his last wishes was for a jazz funeral

church or funeral home. A brass band is fol-

complete with a traditional hearse for his

lowed by a glass-sided hearse, very likely

cremated remains and a band to lead the

pulled by a white mule. The flowers go on

procession on a walk through the Quarter

top, the coffin inside and the mourners

past his favorite spots.

walk behind. The procession moves slowly,

Not a religious man, he told his wife Liz

dirges are played, sometimes punctuated

that, if there was such a funeral, he wanted

by A Closer Walk With Thee. Arriving at the

no religious music. When he passed, his

prepared grave site, often a tomb with a

friends saw to it that his wishes were car-

curtain hiding the empty vault, the words

ried out, hired motorcycle police to line the

of religion and remembrance are said and

route, saw to the proper city permits and

the pall bearers lift the coffin and slide it

arraigned for a first-class brass band, the

into the tomb.

Storyville Stompers.

The curtain drops. The mourners realize

When it was time for the event, his wife

that the cares, worries and suffering of the

asked the band members to omit religious

deceased are over. That person has gone

tunes. After a brief conference among

to GLORY! The band switches to spirited

themselves they told her that ALL jazz

music like When The Saints Go Marching

funeral music was religious. So the tra-

In. A mood of joy dawns as mourners begin

ditional music was played as he was in no

to celebrate the release of their brother or

position to complain. The funeral ended as

sister to a better life. They follow the band,

he had wished, with his ashes placed above

keeping time to the music, sometimes as far

the cash register of his favorite establish-

as to the home of the deceased. Others can

ment. There they remain today.

join in, forming what is called a second line,

In the late 1800s, when early deaths were

as even strangers can help celebrate a life.

more frequent than today, families had a

The defining moment of a true jazz

horror of being too poor to bury a loved

funeral is the switch of music from sad

one. Working-class people brought burial

to joyous. With long funeral processions

insurance at a nickel a week, collected by

of local celebrities, the lively music and

door to door insurance men. Another option

second line activity can make its way to

was to join a mutual aid society that could

the starting point. This is not perceived

provide a proper funeral. In the Black com-

as disrespectful, but as a tribute, particu-

munity a good send off could include a pro-

larly by the well organized and well-dressed

cession and music.

marching groups that join in.

The importance of going out in style is

Jazz funerals have been held that do not

reflected in these lines of the old blues

involve a burial or prayers. Jim Monaghan’s

song, St. James Infirmary:

was one example. He was well-known and

loved in the French Quarter, had owned

top Stetson Hat; Put a twenty-dollar gold

“Oh, when I die, bury me In my high

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piece on my watch chain So the boys will

of any parade, having fun and strutting

know I died standing pat.”

to the music, second-line style. They are

Traditions evolve. A development relat-

known to carry sticks supporting dozens

ing to the jazz funeral is, of all things, wed-

and dozens of paper flowers which they

dings celebrated the jazz way! On a typical

present to pretty women— one flower in

Saturday afternoon there may be two or

exchange for a kiss! The best known Mardi

three of these happenings in the French

Gras marching group was founded by clar-

Quarter. A couple will take their vows at the

inetist Pete Fountain. It is the (pronounce it

Cathedral or in Jackson Square and have a

carefully) Half-Fast Walking Society.

procession to the reception led by a brass

Scholars may not all agree that jazz was

band, often the very group used in funer-

born in New Orleans, but they will admit

als. The guests become the second line –

that the word jazz certainly did. It was in

strutting and keeping time to the music.

New Orleans that it matured and became a

There are other second-line spin offs, like

part of the fabric of music everywhere. One

the marching clubs seen on Mardi Gras day.

wonders when the joy of jazz funeral cele-

Groups of men, all dressed alike, will hire

brations and spirit of second-line proces-

a band to lead them. They will walk along

sions will spread to enrich the world scene.

the major parade routes, but not as part

Isn’t every life worth celebrating?

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New Orleans Cemeteries You Don't Want to Miss

Cemeteries are an intrinsic part of New Orleans’ landscape and history. In particular, because New Orleans is below sea level, digging six feet under is rarely a viable option. So, in turn, New Orleans has a unique cemetery culture of bodies being placed in above-ground tombs. In New Orleans, you’ll find cemeteries dating back as early as 1789; the triple-x marked tomb believed to house voodoo queen Marie Laveau; a chilling Katrina memorial paying tribute to the unclaimed and unidentified victims of the storm; and, in some cases, biting stories that may haunt you for the rest of your life.

S T. LOUIS CE ME T E RY NO. 3 Opened in 1854 and much tidier than the other St. Louis cemeteries, this was a built upon a leper colony. Carved stone angels adorn the entrance area, which leads to 10,000 burial sites and 3,000 wall vaults.

ST. ROCH CEMETERY NO. 2 Far less creepy than St. Roch #1, this cemetery has fantastic tile mosaics of saints and several mausoleums. The intricately framed headstone photo memorials are about as heartwarming as it gets.

ST. LOUIS CEMETERY NO. 1 The city’s oldest cemetery (1789) is a maze of tombs and crumbling bricks and it’s widely believed that voodoo queen Marie Laveau’s remains are here. Many old city VIP are interred here. The most famous recent addition is a controversial tomb (it’s a pure white pyramid) that Nic Cage will be buried in when he passes.

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HOLT CEMETERY

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GREENWOOD CEMETERY & MAUSOLEUM

While not the most architecturally

This cemetery, originally for the city’s

significant, the Carrollton Cemetery is

indigent population, is not one you’re

Opened in 1852 by the Fireman’s Char-

one of seven cemeteries owned by the

likely to see on a New Orleans cemetery

itable and Benevolent Assoc., this is

city. Founded in 1849, the cemetery was

tour. Holt is unique in that 99 percent of

one of the city’s largest cemeteries. The

owned by the town of Carrollton, which

its population is buried below ground,

Elks Lodge tomb is topped by a gigantic

was later annexed by the City of New

and rainfalls can cause some... turnover.

bronze elk statue. The Confederate

Orleans in 1874. Several notable and

But the oak trees draping the lot and

Monument, with busts of Robert E. Lee

pioneering families who have positively

the personal marks on the graves make

and Stonewall Jackson contains the

impacted the town are buried here.

this cemetery a special place.

remains of 600 soldiers.

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CHARIT Y HOSPITAL & K ATRINA MEMORIAL CEMETERY

ST. LOUIS CEMETERY NO. 2

The final resting place for thousands

miasmas from yellow fever and cholera

Opened in 1823 after it was decided who died in Charity Hospital, particular-

victims were causing the ails of the

ly during the yellow fever epidemic. In

city. Guidebooks say not to visit this

1937, the land was raised several feet so

cemetery, which is in the middle of

graves would be safe from flooding. The

the projects. The ornate ironwork and

Katrina Memorial was added in 2007 to

Greek Revival-style tombs are fantastic,

remember the unclaimed and unidenti-

though. Earl King and R&B legend

fied victims of the storm.

Ernie K. Doe share a tomb here.

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LAFAYETTE CEMETERY NO. 1

CYPRESS GROVE CEMETERY

ST. ROCH CEMETERY NO. 1

A non-denominational, non-segregated

Built in 1840 and recognized for its fine

This may be the most unusual cemetery

cemetery from 1833. Anne Rice, who

marble and cast iron tombs, this was

ever. Past the tombs and Stations of the

used to live around the corner, created

the first cemetery in the city to honor

Cross, the Gothic Revival chapel’s tiny

some of the most popular tombs here—

volunteer firemen. Maunsel White, a

side room is littered with prosthetics,

in her imagination. The Mayfair Witches

Battle of New Orleans veteran and one

intimate hand-written thank-you notes,

and Lestat the vampire’s tombs are

of the first to use Tabasco peppers to

coins, crutches, and more. Truly a you

based off of this cemetery.

make a hot sauce, is entombed here.

have to see it to believe it kind of place.

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PHOTOGRAPHER M I C HAEL P. S M ITH:

Preservationist of New Orleans’

Cultural Wetlands P H O T O G R A P H Y S T O R Y

COURTESY OF THE HISTORIC NEW ORLEANS COLLECTION

KARL BREMER

This profile of New Orleans cultural historian and photographer Michael P. Smith was originally published in 2004 in Beat Street, a New Orleans literary magazine now out of print. By that time, Smith had slipped into semi-retirement by then as he began to succumb to the effects of Parkinson’s and possibly Alzheimer’s diseases.   Smith passed in 2008 and left behind a legacy that represents one of the Crescent City’s most magnificent treasures. Smith’s prints, negatives and other archival material was acquired by the Historic New Orleans Collection in 2007 where it is being preserved for future generations. His photographs also are in the permanent collections of the Bibliotheque National in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Louisiana State Museum.

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ew Orleans photographer David

But it’s the words of Larry Bannock, Big

Richmond calls Michael P. Smith

Chief of the Golden Star Hunters, that

“There’s a popular misconception around town that Mike is, like, gone,” says New

“the last true great undiscovered

would be most likely to bring a smile to

Orleans photographer Bob Compton. “But

photojournalist of the 20th cen-

Smith’s face.

that couldn’t be further from the truth.

tury,” and places him in the pan-

“Mike Smith wasn’t a cultural pirate,”

There’s still light in those blue eyes.”   There’s also a lot more information

theon of such giants as W. Eugene Smith,

Bannock says. “He gave back.”

Dorothea Lange and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Bannock’s speaking of Smith in the past

behind those blue eyes that Smith is fran-

Jeff Rosenheim, a former assistant of

tense reflects the bittersweet fact that Smith

tically trying to download into his latest

Smith’s in the early ‘80s who is now associate

hasn’t been a fixture out on the street for the

book, In the Spirit: The Photography of

curator of photography for the Metropolitan

past couple of years, capturing the pulse and

Michael P. Smith from the Historic New Orleans Collection, before it slips away.

Museum of Art in New York, asserts unequiv-

spirit of New Orleans’ mesmerizing subcul-

ocally that “Mike Smith’s life’s work should

tures of Mardi Gras Indian practices, social

(The book was published in 2009.) Smith

be preserved in perpetuity in New Orleans

and pleasure clubs, second-line parades

also has coauthored a book with University of Munich professor Berndt Ostendorf on

for the study of the culture of New Orleans

and spiritual churches. His battle with

in the last third of the 20th century.”

Parkinson’s and possibly Alzheimer’s dis-

New Orleans jazz funerals that is essen-

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest Producer

eases has kept him from pursuing the mis-

tially complete but remains unpublished.   While the subject of Michael Smith’s

Quint Davis calls Smith “one of the great

sion that at once has been Smith’s vocation

documenters and great depicters of a unique

and avocation in life: to preserve on film the

physical and mental health has been of

aspect of American culture. Mike is not just

living, breathing, organic, cultural wetlands

concern to many in recent months, the

documenting, he’s creating great art.”

known as New Orleans.

health and preservation of his legacy—and

Big Swimps

Michael P. Smith


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St. Catherine

Michael P. Smith

his monumental archives—has become of

Rosenheim was 22 when he moved to

Orleans culture, had just been published,

paramount importance as well.

New Orleans in 1983 and went to work for

and planning for a related exhibition of his

“The value of this life that Michael has led

the Louisiana State Museum. Smith’s first

work was underway.

is enormous, and it would be a shame to let

book, Spirit World, a captivating look at

“I had the pleasure of being involved in his

it slip through New Orleans’ hands like so

spiritual churches, Mardi Gras Indians and

exhibition at the Louisiana State Museum,”

many other things,” declares Rosenheim.

other aspects of African-American New

recalls Rosenheim. “I had a lot of experience

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working with archives of both living and

best known for his images from the New

He came every day, every year and went to

deceased photographers. And I could rec-

Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest. Smith is the

every stage. Multiply that times 35 years.”

ognize that Michael was not just a local pho-

only living photographer to have shot every

But Davis is quick to note, “Jazz Fest is

tographer, but a local photographer who was

Jazz Fest (until his last in 2004), according

really just a spoke in the wheel of Mike

connected to some of the best aspects of

to Fest producer Quint Davis. Leslie Smith,

Smith’s work. We’re maybe a big spoke …

New Orleans culture. Michael not only had a

Michael’s daughter, helped guide her father’s

Having created this great body of artis-

remarkable commitment to his subjects but

lens at the 2004 Jazz Fest.

tic work, he also has brought the images

he seemed to be blessed with being at the

Jazz Fest recognized Smith in 2004

and the awareness of the culture to a lot of

right place at the right time. … He did some

with a showing in the Grandstand of his

people. His photography of those things is a

very innovative things, and he just ‘had it.’”

images printed in large format by David

window to the world, and he helped to both

Rosenheim worked in the darkroom with

Richmond, and 50-60 of his images repro-

popularize and legitimize those cultures.”

Smith to put together two duplicate sets of

duced, mounted on boards and placed

Larry Bannock: ‘Mike Smith wasn’t

prints from the exhibition for a traveling U.S.

around the fairgrounds as close as possi-

a cultural pirate. He gave back.’

Information Agency show. “One would travel

ble to where they were originally shot. His

Says Larry Bannock: “He gave something

to the Caribbean—the Black Caribbean—and

work also is being exclusively featured in

to the people that a lot of guys don’t. Mike

the other would go to Africa. It traveled for

this year’s Jazz Fest program.

was one of the first whites to see one of

years and years. I used to get photographs

“We’re going to celebrate our 35th anni-

these suits put together. Mike was there

from people who saw this exhibit all over

versary through the eyes of Mike Smith,”

when you be sewing, and for years when

the world.”

says Davis. “The whole infield is going to

I was making my Indian suits, Mike would

The cross-cultural appeal of the exhibit was remarkable, says Rosenheim. “Music culture is an international language and so is photography, and they both come together perfectly in Michael Smith.”   Besides documenting New Orleans culture with his camera, Smith also maintains a vast audio archive of events he’s covered.   “He used to wire himself with sophisticated stereo equipment and record these

the “There’s an old saying in black church — Give me my m alive.” flowers while I’

parades and funerals.” Listening to those recordings as he worked in the darkroom

be a Mike Smith kaleidoscope of the festival.”

with Smith’s powerful images “was like a

Since the beginning, Smith has been “Jazz

give me books. Whenever Mike would go traveling and there was a book on Native

kinetic experience.” The sounds of Smith

Fest’s unofficial official photographer,” says

American culture, he brought it back and

working his way through the drum section

Davis. “When you start to do a heritage fes-

said ‘Maybe you can use this.’

of a jazz funeral, then the horns, shifting

tival that has New Orleans street culture

“A lot of times when I was doing patches,

this way and that as he finessed his posi-

in it, Mike comes along with it. Because in

Mike would go out and take pictures of land-

tion for the maximum vantage point pro-

addition to being an artist and a photog-

scapes and color to make it come out right.

vide an aural context for these images

rapher, he’s an intrinsic part of the culture

There’re not a lot of photographers you

that should be preserved as well, says

himself. When we started doing this festi-

could ask that of.”

Rosenheim.

val, he was part of New Orleans street cul-

Smith recognized the value of preserv-

Smith’s body of work reaches deep into

ture. Then he became part of the festival

ing the Mardi Gras Indian culture and he

New Orleans’ subcultures. But he is probably

culture. He was also unbelievably steadfast.

encouraged Bannock: “Don’t just do the

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"Gate" Johnson Funeral (Wild Magnolia's)

Michael P. Smith

Avenue Steppers Marching Club

Michael P. Smith

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bead work. Know the culture, know the

through. But when Mike Smith went Uptown,

sheets of his stuff and working with the

history, know why the blacks ran away and

he was protected, and a lot of people knew

images, that Mike didn’t just take pictures,

how the Native Americans helped them.” He

what he was about.”

he received pictures. He just went out there

also urged Bannock to become registered

David Richmond first knew Michael Smith

and wrestled away until some spiritual force

as a “master craftsman in black Mardi Gras

in 1969, when he took Smith’s place as an

said ‘You’re gonna receive this one.’”

Indian bead work” with Louisiana Folk-life.

assistant to local Black Star syndicate pho-

The Louisiana State Museum raised the

“One of the people that made me a Big

tographer Matt Heron. He ran into him peri-

bar for recognition of Smith’s work last year

Chief was Mike Smith,” says Bannock. “When

odically in the mid-70s, although they were

when it purchased 75 archival-quality prints

I first became a Chief, I was going through a

never close friends.

for its collection. “These pictures are going

problem, and I was talking to Mike about it.

“I had a little gallery in New Orleans in

to be the museum’s basis of the represen-

And he said, ‘When you become a Chief, you

the 70s and that was the first real gallery

tation of African-American culture in New

become the center of attention. People say

showing of Mike’s work—the Spirit World

Orleans,” says Richmond.   Rosenheim says Smith’s entire collection—

“His best pictures— they're alive they come out and knock you out”

photography, recordings, notes—should find a permanent and appropriate home in New Orleans, perhaps the New Orleans Museum of Art or the Louisiana State Museum. “It should be there, in the city that created him and in the city that created the music and culture. I would urge any one of the museum

things about you—negative things. That’s

stuff. But Mike didn’t hang out with that gal-

directors in the city to preserve this archive

all part of being a Chief.’ And the first thing

lery group. He never spent any time being a

in all its complexity and richness.”

he said was, ‘Buy your own equipment.’

dilettante photographer. He was hanging

The archiving of Smith’s work “is an

Everything I needed to make a suit, Mike

out with people closer to the culture—Jerry

ongoing process,” says Bob Compton. “The

said that’s what I need. When you got your

Brock, Jason Berry, Jeff Hannusch.

phrase ‘treasure trove’ does not do it jus-

own, nobody can come at you.

“I really lost track of Mike for about 15

tice. There must be 100,000 images in that

“Mike isn’t a 9-to-5 friend. He’s a 24-hour

years,” Richmond continues. “Two years ago

Race Street building. It physically fills up five great big rooms in an old hotel-size

friend,” Bannock continues. “Whenever you

I started this exhibit space and went over

called him, he was there. There’s a lot of

to Mike’s place and said this can’t happen.

house.” Meanwhile, Smith races against

people that’s on the street today because

There was nobody to really champion his

time to finish In the Spirit, which his

of Mike. Carpenters, contractors, when

work, and he certainly wasn’t going to do

daughter, Leslie, describes as “an explo-

things were slow, Mike would help them

it anymore.”

ration of freedom rituals in New Orleans,”

get jobs. He wasn’t just a little white boy

Richmond selected about 30 images for

from jazz funerals to the underground

who came along and took all the pictures

an exhibit. “I started printing them bigger,

gay Mardi Gras.

and made all the money. … When the testi-

and cleaner. And I just realized that I’d fallen

“He’s driven. He’s afraid of not remem-

mony is given, they can say Mike gave back—

in love with the images. His best pictures—

bering, so he writes and doesn’t sleep, but

he didn’t take away.”

they’re alive, they’re not two-dimensional.

he’s got so much writing to do, and it’s a

Becoming a part of the culture he was

You don’t look at the pictures—they come

vicious cycle.”

documenting had its down sides, too, says

out and knock you out, especially when

Bannock hopes the recognition that’s

Bannock. “Mike and Jules Kahn were taking

you’re giving birth to something like that

due Smith happens soon.

pictures of second lines when it wasn’t pop-

in the darkroom.”

“There’s an old saying in the black

ular. Mike Smith was run out of places, Mike

And, Richmond observes, “I’ve come

church,” he muses. “Give me my flowers

Smith was harassed, the same thing we went

to the conclusion, in looking at the proof

while I’m alive.”

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Bishop I. Butler, Founder

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Michael P. Smith

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Trombone Shorty, Bo Diddley,

Michael P. Smith — 67


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"Uncle" Lionel Batiste Leading Funeral Parade

— 68

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Michael P. Smith


S U B J E C T

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Follow The Music— Second Line

Michael P. Smith

Avenue Steppers First Annual Parade

Michael P. Smith — 69


Michael P. Smith and Jazz Fest P H O T O G R A P H Y S T O R Y

COURTESY OF THE HISTORIC NEW ORLEANS COLLECTION

G R E G VA N DY

This amazing photo is just one of the many

the best music festivals in the world. In ret-

for documenting New Irma Thomas Orleans

that inspired me to not only go to Jazz Fest

rospect it was a no brainer: take the coun-

social club parades and jazz funerals, neigh-

the first time, but to live in New Orleans for

try’s cradle of jazz, blues, gospel, and all

borhood Mardi Gras traditions, spiritual

a short time. Smith’s black & whites adorn

the roots culture of a place like NOLA and

church ceremonies, and many of the city

my walls at home, and his images represent

you have an incredible amount of wealth

and state’s renowned jazz, blues rhythm

a magic place in time when Jazz Fest not only

to celebrate traditional American music-

and blues, and gospel musicians. He was

revived careers of the many, many great

by local musicians. And what a wealth it

also one of the founders of the renowned

local players of New Orleans, but proved

was, and is today.

club, Tipatina’s.

that New Orleans music and culture was a

Michael P. Smith (1937–2008) was born into

“The camera is an extension of my knowl-

viable economic asset, outside of the typical

New Orleans society (read “white society”

edge of the inner workings of the commu-

Bourbon street vacation. It showcased the

and it’s segregated social orders of the day-

nity that I have come to understand over a

amazing tradition of Louisiana music in a

his father was a member of Rex) but every-

twenty-five year period. It’s my art, my sub-

respectful way and organized a local scene

thing changed when he went to work as

jective view of the world I’m experiencing”,

that had, mostly dried up. And Michael P.

Tulane‘s jazz archive‘s staff photographer in

said Michael in 1993.   Smith‘s work is represented through five

Smith was there to document it all.

the 1960s. He heard hours and hours of the

It seems like most things that become

music that had been created in New Orleans’

photography books including Spirit World:

iconic have a classic photographer which

bars and brothels, and he was hooked.

Pattern in the Expressive Folk Culture of

makes them so. A lasting legacy of pictures

“He paid attention when many locals took

African American New Orleans; A Joyful

that tell a million stories with images that

that culture for granted or ignored it,” says

Noise: A Celebration of New Orleans Music;

capture a certain timeless essence of a cul-

Bruce Raeburn, the archive’s curator.

New Orleans Jazz Fest: A Pictorial History;

ture, event, or even a brand or company.

Around that time, Smith met Matthew

Jazz Fest Memories; and Mardi Gras Indians.

The Sabol family did that for the National

Herron, a photographer with the Black Star

The latter is a visual and sociological history

Football League in the 60’s and 70’s, Charles

agency in New Orleans, and became his assis-

of the unique masking and musical tradi-

Peterson did it for Sub Pop and Seattle’s

tant. It was Paul Barbarin‘s funeral in 1969

tions still alive in New Orleans‘ older black

music scene in the 90’s, and Michael P. Smith

that Smith began his photographic explo-

neighborhoods.

did it for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage

ration, abandoning the realm of his youth.

Smith photographed at ever y New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival from its

Festival from it’s inception.

“I have friends in that privileged world,

Jazz Fest had a modest start – if you call the

but haven’t had much interest in the soci-

inception in 1970 until his retirement in

greatest gospel singer of all-time, Mahalia

ety I grew up in since discovering the folk

2004, when he was honored with a major

Jackson returning to her hometown and

community of New Orleans, a side of town I

grandstand exhibition and photo kiosks

second-lining (and singing!) with the Eureka

had never known that struck me as the real

placed around the fairgrounds. This stands

Brass Band a “modest start”, but in terms

heart of the city,” Smith said in the interview.

as one of the greatest Jazz Fest of all-times

of size it was a mere infant. George Wein

Michael P. Smith went on to become

because Michael’s beautiful prints were

considered duplicating his Newport Jazz &

an award-winning professional freelance

everywhere you looked and created an

Folk Festival formula in New Orleans and

photographer and spent a lifetime captur-

impressive context, and in my humble opin-

it worked. By the late 70’s, and certainly in

ing the music, culture and folk-life of New

ion, Smith’s photos should be considered

the 1980’s, Jazz Fest was considered one of

Orleans and Louisiana. He was well known

a permanent installation.

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C I T Y

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Michael P. Smith

"Valley Of Silent Men" Parade At Jazz Fest"

Michael P. Smith — 71


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R A L PH C OWA N

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BRETT MILAND


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ew Orleans is a party that never

Peter Street as the lyric “Watching some

ends— and you can’t have a

good friends screaming, let me out!” came

start liking something else in life— believe me, I know a lot of people like that. But New

party without music! The cul-

over the speakers).

Orleans jazz has always sounded like a lot of

tural blending that produced

When the band arrived, one of the first

different bands, there was Freddie Keppard

Louisiana’s unique cuisine has

to appear was clarinetist Charlie Gabriel—

and there was Bunk Johnson. Sometimes

also given us some of America’s most col-

at 84 the senior member and a living link

they think of New Orleans music as just

orful and distinctive tunes. Many of these

with New Orleans history. So it was both

one thing, and it never was. And that both-

songs pay homage to the religion and magic

fitting and a little surreal that he led the

ers me, the idea that your pace would just

of New Orleans, while others discuss the

band playing Oh! You Pretty Things as a

stop and you’d never get to hear anything

historical events that shaped the Crescent

funeral dirge. A cathartic celebration was

new. You have to remember that even a

City. If you want to understand the Big

had by all, and the music (if you could get

song like Bourbon Street Parade wasn’t

Easy, you’ll need to learn something about

through the crowds to hear it) was undeni-

always a standard, things evolve over time.”

its soundtrack.

ably great. But the question, voiced by many

The Bowie salute was one of many pro-

Unlike many music clubs, Preservation

at the time, was whether saluting a rock

gressive moves that the band has made

Hall (726 St. Peter Street) doesn’t offer a bar,

star— even a beloved and widely influen-

since bassist/tuba player Jaffe’s been in

reservations, or air conditioning. Despite

tial rock star— is what New Orleans’ most

charge. He originally joined the band after the death of his father Allan in 1987 (Allan

this, crowds begin lining up outside the door

venerable jazz institution should be doing.

well before the 8 p.m. shows. Once you get

“I couldn’t imagine us not doing it,” says

in turn began running the Hall in 1961), and

inside and hear the Preservation Hall Jazz

Ben Jaffe, the second-generation leader

gradually moved into a leadership role over

Band playing New Orleans jazz standards,

who’s guided the band to a new era. “I’m glad

the next decade. “To put things in per-

you’ll understand why. Classically trained

to be part of an operation that is continu-

spective, when I joined as a member of the

young musicians play alongside old-tim-

ally growing and maturing, and part of that

band, Willie and Percy Humphrey were

ers who learned at the feet of some of the

maturing is acknowledging great artists

still members of the band. After Willie and

city’s jazz legends. “What we’re doing is part

like Bowie who touched all of us, directly

then Percy passed away, we were a band

of a continuum,” says Director Benjamin

or indirectly. I can’t begin to think of all

without a leader. Then there was Wendell

Jaffee, “part of a tradition that is now in

the little lines that connect Preservation

Brunious [now leading his own band] who

its fifth and sixth generation.” One of the

Hall to Bowie— there was [friend and col-

was next in line for that chair, and Narvin

city’s most popular musical destinations,

laborator] Iggy Pop coming from Detroit,

Kimball. And when Narvin passed some-

Preservation Hall is helping to ensure that

him and the MC5 hanging out with the

thing interesting happened which got less

New Orleans jazz continues on for many

guys who’d played with Miles Davis. And

attention, which was the passing of the

generation to come.” If there’s one thing

there’s the costumes and theatricality,

African-American banjo tradition— people

you don’t expect to see at Preservation

which is a New Orleans thing. We did that

have learned the instrument later in life,

Hall, it’s David Bowie— hundreds of David

with a permit for 75 people— that’s what

but now there wasn’t an unbroken line of

Bowies in fact, in every incarnation from

we expected, before word got around and

banjo players.”

Ziggy Stardust on up to Lazarus. That was

people started flying in from all over the

“So there was a lot of soul searching and

the scene last year when the Hall hosted

country. This is how Bowie wanted to be

what happened in the middle of this was

a second line in Bowie’s honor— arguably

immortalized— not with flowers in some

Katrina,” he says. “And what happened was

the greatest step beyond jazz tradition it’s

apartment, but with theatrics and music.”

that everything in my mind became crystal

ever taken. The crowds jammed the streets

And if the purists are going to gripe, let

clear. The idea that you can’t be something

outside the Hall like it was a big rock show,

’em. As Jaffe points out, they always have

you’re not; that’s not being true to your

leader Ben Jaffe obliged them by pointing

in the past. “I understand people having a

art form. The music that Willie and Percy

speakers outside the balcony (and I saw

certain reaction to our music, and those are

played was different from what Jelly Roll

some accidental humor when one poor

people who’ve grown up with it and don’t

Morton played, which was different from

soul tried to leave a parking space on St.

want it to change. A lot of times you don’t

what Buddy Bolden played. So it’s not like

— 75


“I wanted the sound to be dirty and gritty, and I was using words like bombastic and off the rails— crazy shit. Their music is joyful and rambunctious and to me, that’s punk.” T O A S T

DAV E

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SI T E K,

T V

O N

T H E

— 76

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anything gets diluted— with every gener-

band had ever done a song from the non–

ation, the music becomes bigger.”

New Orleans rock repertoire; its singer

that made you go home and start pulling out your albums. It was our first non–

“My biggest fear for New Orleans isn’t

Clint Maedgen was also one of the first

New Orleans rock song but my dad had

for the music, because that’s a reflection

band members with a foot in the rock and

his Beatles albums, and he always talked

of our community. I’m more fearful of the

performance art worlds. A song choice like

about doing When I’m 64— he wanted to

loss of cultural centers and not being able

Complicated Life opened the Hall to a dif-

make it When I’m 84 and have Percy sing

to protect those neighborhoods— when you

ferent world of music, bridging to projects

it. And Complicated Life had that beauti-

can’t have a parade in the Treme, that’s a

like the 2010 album Preservation where they

ful film of Clint delivering food to us in the

problem— and when New Orleans becomes

were joined by an all-star cast including

Quarter. I think that came at a time when

unaffordable for the artists, the people who

Tom Waits, Ani DiFranco and My Morning

everybody needed it.”

give it a flavor. But in terms of our musical

Jacket’s Jim James, who’d become a fre-

The real payoff in all this has been the PHJB’s rebirth as a recording band. The

future? I’m not worried about that at all,

quent guest and collaborator. Some of those

man. Not with all the young brass bands

guests sat in with the band for a Carnegie

Preservation album had its ups and downs—

I’m hearing now.”

Hall anniversary show the following year,

Waits’ take on Danny Barker’s Tootie Ma Is

The PHJB actually began its reboot-

and again at Jazz Fest in 2012.

a Big Fine Thing is quite rightly the track

ing before Katrina struck; one decisive

Going back to the Kinks song, Jaffe says,

everybody knows— but it never felt like a

move was covering the Ray Davies song

“I was really keen on finding a song for Clint

forced crossover move. “It happened at

Complicated Life. Musically speaking, it

to sing, and I didn’t want it to be a New

a time [after Katrina] when people were

wasn’t that huge a step— as recorded on the

Orleans jazz standard— but I didn’t want

bending over backward to make themselves

Kinks’ Muswell Hillbillies it was already an

to do some kitschy Top 40 song either. The

available, and a lot of projects were being

homage to Dixieland jazz, and Davies was

Kinks started coming into focus because

done. And I didn’t want to make a medio-

even living in the Quarter at the time of the

of [Davies’] presence in New Orleans; you’d

cre album, I wanted to make an amazing

Hall version. But it was the first time the

hear that someone had run into him and

album, and I didn’t realize at the time how

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important that album was to me. It was the

also a far more eclectic album than That’s

first time we came up with a concept and

It!, with the material (mostly written by

tried it out, and the concept was to bring

Jaffe and Gabriel) taking their recent Cuba

20 people to Preservation Hall to record

trip as a jumping-off point. It goes further

with the band. If anyone asked to have a

than that, though: There’s funk, there’s

track sent to New York, we just said no. It

classic New Orleans R&B, there’s a touch

had to be people who weren’t frightened

of pre-fusion Miles Davis. And there’s the

of working in a live setting, and having two

advance single Santiago, the kind of song

takes to get it right.”

that’s infectious enough to loop in the non-

It’s on the two recent studio albums—

jazz audience— indeed, Rolling Stone has

2013’s That’s It! and the new So It Is (both

already run a feature touting Sitek’s pres-

on Sony/Legacy)— where the current band

ence and that song in particular.

has really blossomed. Both are the first

Sitek was the album’s wild card: Aside

all-original albums in the PHJB’s history,

from being the guitarist in TV on the Radio,

“So many more people are going to experience us, that’s what I’m predicting. They’ll find out that we’re a New Orleans jazz band, then they’ll go back and find out what that means.” and the challenge of adding new mate-

he’s produced the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and

rial to the repertoire lights an obvious fire

actress Scarlett Johansson, and remixed

under the band. Notably both albums were

Beck and Nine Inch Nails, none of which

done with rock-oriented producers— Jim

gets anywhere near New Orleans jazz.

James co-produced That’s It! with Jaffe,

But as far as Sitek was concerned, he was

and TV on the Radio member Dave Sitek is

making a punk record. “That’s really the

the full producer on So It Is. That doesn’t

way I thought of it,” he said in a separate

mean there’s any rock in the mix, but it

interview. “I wanted the sound to be dirty

does mean the albums sound different:

and gritty, and I was using words like bom-

Instead of being presented as museum

bastic and off the rails— crazy shit. Their

pieces they kick out of the speakers like

music is joyful and rambunctious and to

any vivid, modern recording.

me, that’s punk.” Instead of recording at

Three band members make their debut

the Hall, they rehearsed it there and then

on the new album, with pianist Kyle Roussel,

did the tracking at one of Sitek’s favorite

trumpeter Branden Lewis and drummer

studios, the Sonic Ranch in El Paso.

Walter Harris joining the old(er) guard of

In some respects Sitek’s production was

Jaffe, Gabriel, Maedgen and trombonist

quite traditional: All the performances are

Ronell Johnson (Roussel replaces Rickie

live, with no overdubs beyond voices and

Monie who was another link to Hall history,

handclaps, and no flying-in of solos. “Yeah,

having replaced Sweet Emma Barrett). It’s

those guys were ready to kill me because I

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made them play everything 16 or 17 times.”

a genesis of our music. It’s been brewing

His personal tweaks happened largely in

since I was a kid, listening to the midnight

the recording process. “They were fairly

reggae show on WWOZ. Hearing dub and

certain they wanted to try something new.

saying, ‘Wow, what is this?’— and then going

But what I said was, ‘Let’s try something

to Jazz Fest and being exposed to soca

really old, like recording you guys in the

and King Sunny Ade. We’re lucky to have

round.’ I was trying to capture the instru-

’OZ in our backyard, but most stations are

ments and the way they interact with each

afraid to go that eclectic. And now some

other— it was really about getting up close

pretty influential stations are picking up

and walking around in front of those horns

on Santiago as a single, and we’ll be play-

incessantly. If you have a mike on the trum-

ing the main stage at Coachella for the first

pet, can you make it so loud you catch the

time. So many more people are going to

space around it? I wanted the brass to

experience us, that’s what I’m predicting.

bounce off the wall— if it frightens me

They’ll find out that we’re a New Orleans

and it frightens the walls, let it frighten

jazz band, then they’ll go back and find out

the microphones as well. Rather than put

what that means. And if we lose the more

a lot of baffles between them, just let it

traditional fans, so did Miles Davis when

all fly around. Only a maniac would do it

he came out with Kind of Blue.”

that way, but I wanted you to press play

And if the mass audience can get its head

and have it be right in your fucking face.”

around a New Orleans jazz album, so much

Jaffe has every expectation that the album

the better. “Never mind their heads,” Jaffe

will get the Hall’s music out to newer and

shoots back. “I’m hoping they can get their

bigger audiences. “This record is really

booties around it.”

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TROMBONE SHORTY GOT

TALLER

P H O T O G R A P H Y

T

JONATH A N M A NNION

S T O R Y

CEM KUROSMAN

rombone Shorty’s new album opens with a dirge, but if you think the beloved bandleader, singer, songwriter and horn-blower born Troy Andrews came here to mourn,

you got it all wrong. That bit of beautiful New Orleans soul— Laveau Dirge No. 1, named after one of the city’s most famous voodoo queens—shows off our host’s roots before Parking Lot Symphony branches out wildly, wonderfully, funkily across 12 diverse cuts.

True to its title, this album contains multitudes of sound—from brass band blare and deep-groove funk, to bluesy beauty and hip-hop/pop swagger—and plenty of emotion all anchored, of course, by stellar playing and the idea that, even in the toughest of times, as Andrews says, “Music brings unity.”   As for why it’s taken Andrews so long to follow 2013’s Raphael Saadiq-produced Say That to Say This, the man simply says, “I didn’t realize so much time passed. Some artists don’t work until they put a record out but I never stopped going.” Truly. In the last four years, Andrews banked his fifth White House gig; backed Macklemore and Madonna at the Grammys; played on albums by She & Him, Zac Brown, Dierks Bentley, and Mark Ronson;

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to transport the listener to the center of the jumpingest jazz-soul concert hall that never was.   The story there is almost too good. The session band—guitarist Pete Murano, s a x men Da n O e st reicher a nd BK Jackson, and drummer Joey Peebles with Dumpstaphunk’s Tony Hall in for Orleans Avenue bassist Mike Bass-Bailey—were in the studio to lay down It Ain’t No Use. Hall even had the vintage acoustic he bought from Nocentelli years ago, which was used on the original Meters session. On the way to the bathroom, Andrews saw Nocentelli coming out of a different tracking room: it was meant to be.   But that’s not unusual for a man raised in one of the Tremé’s most musical families. Andrews got his name when he picked up his instrument at four (“My parents pushed me toward trombone because they didn’t opened tours for Daryl Hall & John Oates

him in a room, all alone, back in New

need another trumpet player,” he laughs). By

and Red Hot Chili Peppers; appeared in

Orleans. “I had two weeks at home so I

eight, he led his own band in parades, halls

Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways documentary

went to the studio and set up the ‘play-

and even bars: “They’d have to lock the door

series; voiced the iconic sound of the adult

ground,’” he recalls. “I had everything in

so the police couldn’t come in.” Promoters

characters in The Peanuts Movie; inher-

a circle: tuba, trombone, trumpet, key-

would try to hand money to his older cousins, but they’d kindly redirect them to the

ited the esteemed annual fest-closing set

board, Fender Rhodes, Wurly, B3 organ,

at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

guitar, bass, drums—and me buried in the

boy. In his teens, Andrews played shows

in the tradition of Crescent City greats

middle.” He recorded an album’s worth of

abroad with the Neville Brothers. Fresh out of high school (New Orleans Center for

like the Neville Brothers and Professor

ideas and then, well, walked away for a year.

Longhair; and released Trombone Shorty,

Not because he was too busy, but because

Creative Arts) he joined Lenny Kravitz’ band.

a children’s book about his life that was

he wanted to hit the road and see how the

Across that time, three Trombone Shorty

named a Caldecott Honor Book in 2016.

music changed on him. When Andrews came

albums and many collaborations since,

Adding to that legacy, his Blue Note

back with a full band, the songs came to life.

Andrews nurtured a voracious appetite

Records debut Parking Lot Symphony finds

Take the album’s two covers, a pair of

for all types of music—a phenomenon on

Andrews teamed with Grammy-nominated

NOLA deep cuts: there’s Here Comes the

fluid display with Parking Lot Symphony.

producer Chris Seefried (Andra Day, Fitz

Girls, a 1970 Allen Toussaint song originally

On Familiar, co-written by Aloe Blacc, they

and the Tantrums) and an unexpected

recorded by Ernie K-Doe that here (with Ivan

practically mint a new genre (trap-funk?)

array of cowriters and players includ-

Neville on piano) sounds bawdy and regal,

while Andrews channels his inner R. Kelly

ing members of Edward Sharpe & The

like something from a current Bruno Mars

to spit game at an old flame. Meanwhile,

Magnetic Zeros, The Meters, Better Than

album; and The Meters’ lovesick It Ain’t No

the instrumental Tripped Out Slim (the

Ezra, and Dumpstaphunk. Considering

Use, which swirls a vintage R&B vibe with

nickname of a family friend who recently

Andrews’ relentless schedule, it’s all the

resonant choir vocals and upbeat guitar

passed) bends echoes of the Pink Panther

more surprising that this LP began with

from The Meters’ Leo Nocentelli himself

theme into something fit for James Brown to

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strut to. And if you listen closely to Where It

N E W

surface, as it is about moving on from a

At?, written with Better Than Ezra’s Kevin

broken heart. And the shuffling, bluesy

Griffin, you may even hear a little Y2K pop.

No Good Time reminds us, with a world-

“I know it wasn’t cool to listen to *NSYNC

weary smile, that “nobody never learned

or Britney Spears in high school,” says

nothin’ from no good time.”

Andrews, “but those bass lines and mel-

But Andrews is clear that this isn’t some

odies are funky.” They pair astonishingly

kind of breakup record. “It’s a life record,”

well with all the Earth, Wind & Fire that

he says, “about prevailing no matter what

bubbles beneath these songs.

type of roadblock is in front of you.” That

It’s worth noting that Andrews’ vocals

message is clearest on Dirty Water, where

sound better than ever (he credits Seefried

over an easy groove, Andrews adopts a

for that), because Parking Lot Symphony

soft falsetto to address just about anyone

might be the man’s most heartfelt offering

going through it—personal, political, what-

yet. The breezy title track, which Andrews

ever. There’s a lot of hope turning to doubt,”

wrote with Alex Ebert (Edward Sharpe &

he coos. I’ve got something to say to them /

The Magnetic Zeros), is as much about

You don’t know what you’re talking about

walking the Tremé, being uplifted by

/ When you believe in love, it all works out.

the music that seems to seep from every

Amen. Now let the horns play us out.

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The Paramount Theater P H O T O G R A P H Y S T O R Y

ARA TRASK

ERIC L. FLOM AND JOHN CALDBICK

What is now the Paramount Theater ​at 9th Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle started life in 1928 as the Seattle Theatre, built to showcase films and provide a venue for the fading but still-popular vaudeville shows of the day. The first talkie had been released the year before, and the Depression was still over the horizon. The popularity of movies created a major industry, and a handful of big studios ran everything from the production and distribution of films to the ownership or control of many of the venues in which they were shown. This was an extremely lucrative vertical monopoly, and it would be another 20 years before the Supreme Court forced the studios to divest themselves of their interests in many of the nation’s leading theaters. Until then, the moguls could well afford to build or lease elaborate venues in which to display their products.   The Seattle Theatre would become the newest addition to a chain operated by the Fox West Coast Theatres Corporation in association with Paramount’s Publix Theatre chain. The project was inspired by Seattle businessman L. N. Rosenbaum, who had recently returned to the Puget Sound area after spending several years in New York.

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He and his East Coast connections formed

new house, indulged an occasional burst of

lighting scheme. Management claimed that

the Paramount Building Corporation, with

the exotic by incorporating a few acces-

portions of the ceiling were suspended

New York banker W. S. Hammond serving

sories of East Indian origin. Many of these

from the actual roof, a design element pop-

as president, and together they raised most

pieces found their way into the grand foyer,

ular at the time in Europe, but which had yet to catch on in America. This gave the

of the estimated $3 million in capital nec-

the ornate appearance of which was soft-

essary to build the new theater.

ened by a variety of wall hangings and period

house, they claimed, “an artful and charm-

Despite the presence in Seattle of

furniture, including high-backed settees,

ing effect of space and freedom”

Benjamin Marcus Priteca (1889-1971), a

chairs, and corner pieces. Similar furnish-

Rose, gold, and ivory were the predominant

nationally known movie-palace archi-

ings were liberally distributed through-

colors throughout, with the walls coated

tect, the Publix Theatre chain, which was

out the other common areas of the theater.

with nearly three tons of white, lead-based

responsible to the venue’s design, retained

Unique to the venue were the separate

paint, portions of which were highlighted

the Chicago architectural firm of Rapp &

lobby areas as one ascended the stair-

with gold leaf. A total of 200 packs of gold

Rapp. They patterned the Seattle Theatre

case to the upper levels, as well as a grand

leaf— at $14 each— were applied by hand

in part on the firm’s design of New York’s

lounge located below the main entrance.

throughout the house. The cost for this

Paramount Theatre, which had opened

A general feeling of openness was main-

detail work paled in comparison to the

only a short time before.

tained throughout the house, but these

tab for drapes and chandeliers, said to have

The dominant interior-design program

separate lobbies were dotted with smaller

been in excess of $200,000. The two large

of the new theater was Beaux-Arts (also

alcoves. Even with the theater’s official

chandeliers in the foyer (still there today)

called French Renaissance and rococo, or

seating capacity of 3,054, these intimate

reportedly cost $5,000 apiece, and originally

Late Baroque), reminiscent of the Palace

spaces provided places where couples or

contained some 52,000 individual crystals.

of Versailles, mixed with traditional Italian

small groups of theatergoers could retreat

As the opening-night bill demonstrated,

influences. The walls of the four-tiered

with a degree of privacy.

the Seattle Theatre was fully equipped

lobby featured ornate plaster moldings and

No expense was spared in creating an

to present combination shows— enter-

spectacular chandeliers that illuminated

impressive ambiance for the new Seattle

tainment that drew both from the stage

elaborate ironwork and wall medallions

Theatre. Its proscenium arch spanned 54

and the screen as part of a single weekly

encrusted with gold leaf. Designer Morris

feet and was 32 feet high, and the ceiling of

offering. For example, the venue was con-

Greenberg of New York, who was charged

the auditorium was specially designed with

structed with a flying stage (one of only

with obtaining rugs and tapestries for the

hollow areas to incorporate a distinctive

three in the United States at the time) that

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allowed the stage area to be altered based

neighborhood of $46,500, this organ also

for the presentation of specific movies or

on the needs of the particular live produc-

was specially decorated in white and gold

other events. When it fully reopened, the

tion. Backstage were 41 modern dressing

to match the theater’s interior, and could

elaborate stage shows were gone; only films

rooms spread over several floors (each with

be raised to the stage or lowered to the

and organ music would be offered to give

its own shower), with elevator service to

orchestra pit on a special lift. Such organs

the public brief respite from the rigors of

the stage. These rooms were in addition

were once a common feature in nearly every

those hard times.

to employees’ and artists’ common areas,

significant movie house, but most venues

The Paramount closed for long periods in

such as a green room and a separate card

got rid of them shortly after the arrival of

the 1960s, including a time in 1965 during

room for theater staff.

sound film in the late 1920s, as they were no

which nine magnificent paintings, still in

The stage lighting of the new theater was

longer necessary for film accompaniment

their original gilded frames, were stolen

top-notch, and it was rivaled by the projec-

and were costly to maintain. (Most were

from the lobby. One Friday night in 1967,

tion equipment for movie offerings, among

sold to churches or private collectors.) Not

only 13 people came to see Gone with the

the best in the city. The house projectionist

so at the Paramount. Although most of the

Wind— a poignant demonstration of the

also could make use of an elaborate back-

theater’s original furnishings, sculptures,

theatre’s decline. However, The Paramount

drop-projection system to create the illu-

rugs, and tapestries are now long gone, the

limped along as a movie house until 1971

sion of clouds, stars, rainbows, snow, and

organ remains, kept in operating condition

Ida Cole, a former Microsoft executive, who purchased the Paramount Theatre on

other effects during stage presentations.

with parts scrounged from other instru-

Where the Seattle really stood apart from

ments around the country.

February 8, 1993. She vowed to restore the

its competition, however, was in the nature

Restored to its former glory in the late

venue, and she retained the heavyweight

of its musical accompaniment. In addition

1990s, the mighty Wurlitzer is regularly fea-

architectural firm NBBJ to do the design

to having some of the finest acoustics of

tured as part of the Paramount’s ongoing

and Sellen Construction to do the work.

any local theater, the Seattle boasted four

series, Silent Movie Mondays, now spon-

In 1994 Cole and others took over a previ-

Knabe grand pianos, reportedly the larg-

sored by Trader Joe’s and held several nights

ously established non-profit, the Seattle

est installation of pianos anywhere out-

each year. Played now by organist Jim Riggs,

Landmark Association, to spearhead the

side of the Metropolitan Opera House in

the instrument greatly enhances the show-

project and sought help from both govern-

New York. Three of these instruments were

ing of these classic silents and helps recap-

mental and private entities.

made of finished mahogany— a concert

ture the glory days of early cinema.

The work, costing roughly $37 million,

grand piano in the orchestra pit and two

The Seattle Theatre didn’t remain so for

was extensive. Space was purchased from

smaller grand pianos onstage. The fourth

long, and on March 14, 1930, after only two

an adjoining land owner and the rear of the

was a Knabe Ampico (Louis XV version)

years in business, its name was changed

building expanded to provide more room

player piano, specially finished in gold and

to the Paramount Theatre in conformity

backstage, including a loading dock for sets

ivory to match the Seattle’s interior décor.

with the Publix Theatre chain’s policy of

and equipment. (What was once considered

It was situated in the Salon de Musique on

giving the grandest of its theaters in each

a large and state-of- the-art backstage

the mezzanine floor, and the special dec-

city that name (there were to be a total of

system was viewed 60 years later as out-

orations were done in Seattle at the local

44 Paramount Theatres across the country).

dated and cramped.) Aiming for flexibility,

Knabe studios. This custom Knabe, after

It continued to offer a mix of movies, plays,

the new owner later installed an ingenious

being sold and removed in 1967, was loaned

and vaudeville, but the Great Depression

electric system that allows the seating area of the theater to be reconfigured. Costing

back in 1998 and is today located in the

was underway, and many could no longer

lounge area just above the foyer.

afford even the moderate cost of an eve-

$5 million and having 300,000 parts, the

The Knabe pianos were indeed impres-

ning out at the theater. In June 1931 the

system divides the theater’s floor into 64

sive, but not as impressive as the theater’s

Paramount was forced to temporarily sus-

moving sections which can be configured

massive Wurlitzer 4/20 Publix No. 1 organ,

pend regular operations. From then until

in a multitude of ways. The first half of the

reportedly the largest instrument of its

October 1932, the theater would be closed

floor can be elevated using electric screw

kind when it was installed. Costing in the

for days or weeks at a time, then opened

jacks to a height above the second half.

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Seats can be stowed and the entire floor

Firmly back on its feet, the Paramount

Theatre. With excellent care and man-

can be raised to stage level, or each sec-

throughout the 1990s brought to its stage

agement, the Paramount today continues

tion can be raised to different heights. The

a steady program of Broadway musicals,

to be a destination for Seattle theatergo-

system, which is computer controlled, was

concerts, comedians, and other entertain-

ers, and is poised to fulfill the prophecy

completed just one day before its first use.

ments, including, in 1999, a performance by

of one who witnessed its opening in 1928.

The new, expanded, and refurbished

the Seattle Ice Theatre that required most

Everhardt Armstrong, then theater critic

Paramount reopened on March 16, 1995,

of the regular seats to be tucked beneath

for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, mused

with a touring production of the hit musi-

the floor, which was then covered with a

on that occasion:

cal Miss Saigon. During the remainder

two-inch-thick slab of smooth ice. In 1998,

“Many modern theatres, planned with

of the 1995-1996 season, the Key Bank-

the family of Dick Schrum (1933-1994), who

a view to presenting entertainment for

sponsored Broadway at the Paramount

had been instrumental in the renovation

the masses, possess a surface glitter— the

Series brought productions of the musicals

of the theater’s mighty Wurlitzer and had

glamour of gilt and the shimmer of osten-

West Side Story, The Phantom of the Opera,

purchased the Paramount’s Knabe Ampico

tatious hangings— but they seem rococo,

the Pointer Sisters in Ain’t Misbehavin’, Kiss

piano in the 1960s, allowed the piano’s return

impermanent, ephemeral, built for a short

of the Spiderwoman, and How to Succeed

to its location just above the foyer in what

life, to be replaced in future decades by

in Business Without Really Trying. The

was originally called the Salon de Musique.

structures still more ornate. The Seattle,

season also offered one dramatic produc-

No expense was spared in creating an

one senses, has been built to endure.”

tion, An Inspector Calls.

impressive ambiance for the new Seattle

And so, with a lot of help, it has.

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Pacific Northwest Ballet: Emergence P H O T O G R A P H Y S T O R Y

ANGELA STERLING

DEAN SPEER

Many choreographers seem to feel compelled to make a bug piece. From those on a grand scale perhaps tackling cosmic issues to those that examine what’s under a Petri dish. One of the most well-known and iconic is Jerome Robbins’ The Cage which Pacific Northwest Ballet has performed in more than one repertory program over the years.   Crystal Pite brings a Canadian sensibility to her large ensemble work, Emergence, which premiered at PNB in 2016, originally commissioned by Artistic Director Karen Kain for the National Ballet of Canada, based in Toronto.   Raised in Victoria, British Columbia and first trained and performed as a dancer in classical ballet before changing to the modern dance idiom, Pite revisits her ballet roots but redefines them and creates her own insect movement vocabulary— of shoulder twitches and Graham-like torso contractions and releases, particularly for the men. Women stab and bourée to the floor and air with their pointes— used more as weapons than as dainty ethereal instruments.

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Pite revisits her ballet roots but redefines them and creates her own insect movement vocabulary

The great visual artist Georgia O'Keeffe

American popular science theorist Steven

frequently used the insides of flowers as

Johnson and considering parallels between

her subjects, and here we get the inside

the social organization of bees and the

of what suggests itself to be a wasp nest.

hierarchical nature of classical ballet com-

Swarming indeed, dancer bugs enter and

panies. Johnson’s statement that ‘simple

exit through the upstage nest hole, inter-

agents following simple rules could gener-

act in small groups or drones [a real nest

ate amazingly complex structures’ became

would most likely have only one female] and

a touchstone for the piece. Sometimes frag-

buzz by the dancers counting under their

mented and gestural, with traces of the

collective breath but, as a whole, aurally

isolation and popping techniques of hip

making a humming hive.

hop, Pite’s choreographic method was a

A riveting dark-hued work that casts

catalyst for change in the dancer’s bodies.

a swarming, scurrying group of dancers,

The entire ensemble is impressive, espe-

insect-like, in an eerily subterranean uni-

cially the featured artists: Joshua Grant and

verse, Emergence dramatizes through its

Rachel Foster in the Prologue; Lindsi Dec

mesmerizing choreographic attack the

and Batkhurel Bold’s pas de deux, and the

ways in which the instinct for creating

ever-amazing Andrew Bartee as the Bee

social forms seems hard-wired into life

Man. This is clearly a work that the com-

itself. Inspiration for the work came from

pany enjoyed doing and to which the audi-

reading Emergence: The Connected Lives

ence responded accordingly in standing

of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software by

ovation at each performance.

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