Friday, September 03, 2010

New Orleans - Katrina: Five Years later

De Jazz Parade - Een verborgen geschiedenis van New Orleans ( Nederlands) - New Orleans - Katrina: Five Years later ( English)

The day music died .........

NEW ORLEANS - KATRINA: FIVE YEARS LATER
HANS KOERT


Five years ago a hurricane, named Katrina, destroyed large parts of the city of New Orleans. Rob Van Scheers visited the city five years later and wrote a book about it, De Jazz Parade, with illustrations by Nico Heilijgers, released by Meulenhoff - Amsterdam.

Fats Domino ( courtesy Nico Heilijgers)

Rob Van Scheers, editor of the Elsevier's Weekblad, has published his book De Jazz Parade, subtitled Een Verborgen Geschiedenis van New Orleans ( = A hidden History of New Orleans). The book is illustrated with some great drawings by Nico Heilijgers, a Dutch artist and musician with a fascination for New Orleans. I wrote a review about this book in Dutch entitled De Jazzparade - Een verborgen geschiedenis van New Orleans ( subtitled: De dag dat de muziek stierf ......... (= The day music died ......). For most of you Dutch is a rather difficult language to understand and as the book is written in that language, you shall have to wait until the book will be released in an English version. So I won't give you a complete review of the book as it seems not very usefully to me, but I love to share with you some of the drawings by Nico and film fragments about New Orleans I used in the review.

Bourbon Street ( NOLA) ( courtesy: Nico Heilijger )

Last weekend it was five years ago that the centre of the tropical hurricane Katrina passed New Orleans and ca. 1800 people lost their lives. The effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans were long-lasting and large parts of the city are still destroyed - 80% of New Orleans was flooded, with some parts under 15 feet (4.5 m) of water. In his book Rob van Scheers returns to New Orleans, early 2009, for a search to what left of the unique culture of the city and people of New Orleans.

Riley B. King was born at the Itta Bena plantation (Mississippi) in 1925. Enjoy a fragment of a great B. B. King ( B. B. means Blues Boys) performance entitled Blues Boys Tune.

Emma Barrett ( Sweet Emma) ( courtesy: Nico Heilijger)
The cover of the book shows a rather hodgepodge of musicians, all more or less, related to New Orleans. If you want you can recognize legends like Fats Domino, Louis Armstrong, The Beatles, Little Richard, Mahalia Jackson and Louis Prima. All these musicians and their fascination for New Orleans are discussed in the book.

One of the legend of New Orleans was Emma Barrett, better known as Sweet Emma. She was born in 1897 and passed away in 1983 and since the 1960s she was one of the most remarkable artist who played at the Preservation Hall. Enjoy a fragment of I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None Of My Jelly Roll.

In the book Rob van Scheers joins the festivities around New Year 2009 and Mardi Grass a month later. He walks through the city, more then four years after these fatal floods of the 31st of August 2005, searching for the places where the legends of the city lived and worked. What to think about the names from the past like Professor Longhair, B.B. King, Jelly Roll Morton, Emma Barrett, better known as Sweet Emma and Memphis Minnie? At the end of the book Rob joins the annual Mardi Grass parade with King Zulu and the Golden Coconut.

Mardi Gras ( courtesy: Nico Heilijgers)
Nico Heilijgers made some great drawings for the book. Nico studied at the Minerva School for Arts in Groningen during the 1980s and now lives in Utrecht, in the centre of The Netherlands. He is an artist specialized in paintings of street scenes and people, but he is also a photographer, who makes great photos of musicians. Please find some photos or art works of him on the website. You can see now work of him at the Kunstliefde in Utrecht and later this year he has exhibitions in Prague and Amsterdam. Nico Heilijgers plays the bass guitar in bands like the Cajun and Zydecoband Captain Gumbo, the Rhythm and Blues group Homesick & the Backstabbers and Splitsing ( to list some).

Each chapter of the book end with a small discography. Rob must have thought that reading about music and the men who made it is not enough - on his website ( www.dejazzparade.nl ) he gives the opportunity to listen to some of the musicians he mentions and who are icons in the New Orleans tradition. You can also find there some of the drawing made by Nico Heilijgers too.

Enjoy a great rehearsal of three icons at the piano: Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint and Isidore Tuts Washington. Professor Longhair was born as Henry Byrd in December 1918 and passed away in 1980) - Allen Toussaint (1938) is a Rhythm and Blues pianist still active and Tuts Washington, a contemporary of Professor Longhair seems to be still alive and must be 103 years old now .......... Enjoy this boogie woogie ..............

I think it would be great if this book would be published in English too, as I think that a lot of people outside the Dutch regions, who are fascinated by jazz and/or the New Orleans cultural traditions will love to have this book, not only for the texts, but also for the beautiful drawings of Nico.
Hans Koert


Last weekend it was five years ago that the centre of the tropical hurricane Katrina passed New Orleans and ca. 1800 people lost their lives. The effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans were long-lasting and large parts of the city are still destroyed - 80% of New Orleans was flooded, with some parts under 15 feet (4.5 m) of water. In his book Rob van Scheers returns to New Orleans, early 2009, for a search to what left of the unique culture of the city and people of New Orleans. Keep Swinging loves to point you to this book which is, unfortunally, only available in Dutch, but a must have for all Dutch-reading music fans all over the world. The drawings of Nico Heilijgers are really great to see ....... If you don't want to miss any contribution of this Keep Swinging blog, ask for its free newsletter.


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