New Orleans Music

Amazing New Orleans Musicians [That you Probably Haven’t Heard of]

Some nice and unsuspecting soul recently asked who my favorite New Orleans musicians are.  This is a really hard question to nail down because there are so many. However below are a few who make my personal top-list. They aren’t in any particular hierarchal order. (more…)

Tuesday Night Rehearsal with the New Orleans Concert Band

I play with NOCB weekly (our website here). Right now we’re preparing for our two July 4th gigs. Knowing we have to please the audience who want to hear things they know, we’re drowning in movie theme songs, patriotic medleys, and showtunes. I have to admit I am enjoying the Lennon/McCartney portrait..

Dear New Orleans, Meet Tibet.

“Without depending on tradition, we cannot do anything. So until we become enlightened, we cannot reject faith that depends on tradition. In order to communicate, it is always necessary to deal with…tradition. But if we rely on it with rigid attachment, then through our clinging we are trapped by tradition”. – Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Until we are master musicians: masters of our own instrument(s), a particular style or era, a musical culture – we have no skill – we cannot do anything. Until we become musical masters, we can’t reject tradition – and we can’t branch away from it. It’s our starting point. We’re musical seeds, watered by tradition, sprouting, growing – shined down upon by the musicians we revere until we reach our potential. And yet (as in New Orleans), “if we rely it with rigid attachment, then through our clinging we are trapped by our tradition”.

That’s the distinction between those who thrive and stay, and those who thrive and climb out.

Tibetan Buddhism has a patent structure from beginning to end. They have a map – they don’t get lost. Musically, so many young musicians are lost. It’s why I believe so strongly in Irvin Mayfields’ current undertaking – his road to Carnegie Hall tour. Although as with every Mayfield project this one has an array of agendas, one involves creating a patent structure from beginning to end. It involves a flow chart of how young musicians can perform their way out of the tradition while still revering it: a step by step guide from point A of picking up that horn for the first time to stepping on stage at Carnegie. The idea, of course, isn’t that every young musician can follow the path. The idea is to show them that aforementioned distinction: simply that they have the choice, and the power to make it happen.