From the rhythms of African slaves in Congo Square, to the birth of jazz, Mardi Gras Indian chants, boogie-woogie, R & B, and original funk, the depth of New Orleans music is unfathomable-- feeding American culture and imagination for 300 years.

Go to the Mardi Gras - Professor Longhair
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1

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

St. James Infirmary

The Preservation Hall Jazz Hall on St. Peter St. and its resident band has been bringing the music of New Orleans to its citizens and the world since 1961.

Buddy Bolden

Buddy Bolden's Blues - Jelly Roll Morton
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Considered the first jazz musician, cornetist Buddy Bolden played his horn in a loud and expressive style in the halls of New Orleans, including Union Son's Hall, later known as Funky Butt Hall.

 

2

Fats Domino

Walking to New Orleans

Antoine "Fats" Domino was born in New Orleans in 1928. His family was French Creole and lived in the Lower Ninth Ward, where he still lives today. Fats' brother-in-law, the jazz guitarist Harrison Verrett taught him to play piano. 

Professor Longhair

Professor Longhair is a New Orleans legend.  His original style of piano playing inspired many New Orleans piano players who came after him. The Professor was a fan of Cuban music and helped bridge "boogie-woogie" with ryrhem and blues.

 

Professor Longhair also helped inspired New Orleans funk music. 

 

Jean Knight

Mr. Big Stuff

Lee Dorsey

Yes We Can - Lee Dorsey
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A childhood friend of Fats Domino Lee Dorsey served in the Navy during WWII before becoming a boxer. He retired from boxing and opened an auto repair shop in New Orleans, first recording Rock Pretty Baby/Lonely Evening with Cosimo Matassa in 1958.

 

Neville Brothers        

Wild Tchoupitoulas

Betty Harris

Mean Man - Betty Harris
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Betty Harris was the Soul Queen of New Orleans.

 

FURTHER. . .

READ:

Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas edited by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker

Inventing New Orleans by Lafcadio Hearn

In the Spirit of New Orleans by Debra Shriver

Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans by Ben Sandmel

LISTEN:

The Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings, Louis Armstrong

King of New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll, Fats Domino

New Orleans Piano, Professor Longhair

The Meters, Look-Ka Py Py, The Meters

They Call Us Wild, Wild Magnolias

Yellow Moon, Neville Brothers

In the Right Place, Dr. John's Gumbo, Dr. John

A Cab Driver’s Blues, Mem Shannon

Billie And De De, Preservation Hall Jazz Band

We Come to Party, Rebirth Brass Band

VIEW:

Bury the Hatchet

The Whole Gritty City

Bayou Maharajah - The Life And Music Of New Orleans Piano Legend James Booker

Trouble the Water

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

Treme

“I'm not sure but I'm almost positive that all music came from New Orleans."  -Ernie K. Doe