New Orleans Brass Bands: Tradition in Motion

The Morris Bart Lecture Series at the New Orleans JCC presents "New Orleans Brass Bands: Tradition in Motion," featuring Tulane University's Matt Sakakeeny.

In a city of many, many traditions, the jazz funeral and the second-line parade are two of the most profound and deeply rooted traditions. But the brass bands that provide the music for funerals and parades have proven to be very adaptable to change. It could be said that one reason brass bands remain so vital is because each generation of black New Orleanians “re-tunes” the sound of the music to fit with their experiences. This presentation will cover key innovations in the brass band tradition from the late 19th century to the early 21st century, when bands like Rebirth, the Hot 8, and the Stooges reign the streets. 

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About The Speaker

Matt Sakakeeny studies the intersections of music, race, and power. He is the author of Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans (Duke Press, 2013) and articles in several edited collections and journals, including Ethnomusicology, Black Music Research Journal, and Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society. He is co-author of Keywords in Sound (Duke Press, 2015) and his work consistently troubles the boundaries between music and sound. He is also co-author of Remaking New Orleans: Beyond Exceptionalism and Authenticity (Duke Press, 2019), exemplifying how his studies of the region go beyond music. Matt has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Awards to Louisiana Artists and Scholars, and the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, and awards from the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Popular Music Section of SEM, and Tulane University’s Center for Public Service. As part of his community-engaged research, Matt is a board member for Roots of Music and the Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund, and has published in media outlets such as Oxford American and NPR’s All Things Considered. He is also the guitarist and bandleader of Los Po-Boy-Citos and released a solo album in 2018 as The Lonely Birds.
Date: June 8, 2020Time: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Location:  Zoom
Contact: Rachel RuthPhone: 504-897-0143Email:

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