Music and Culture in New Orleans

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New Orleans Music and Culture

Imagine it is prime time prohibition era in the city of New Orleans. Music is blasting, the alcohol is freely flowing, and there are crowds of dancing flappers and dapper gentlemen all over the French Quarter. For decades, New Orleans has been the epicenter for jazz music in America. It is essential to the culture, economy, and history of the city. Over the last few years, however, some of New Orleans’s city officials seem to think the beat has left the city, and its personality is suffering because of it. Others believe New Orleans is tired and old, and should be used for no more than a ghostly museum of what used to be: a vibrant explosion of all different kinds of culture. Two articles specifically have opposite views of the same topic of revival: while one encourages the rebirth of Jazz and the lifestyle that comes with it, the other seems to side with the ever-changing culture of America, rather than New Orleans’s rich background.

In an article called, Tapping New Orleans’s Musical Mine, Martha Bayles believes in what New Orleans jazz used to be: a lifestyle. While she knows it still exists in dirty street corners and hole-in-the-wall diners, she cannot deny just how tiny of a portion is still thriving. But to Bayles, sometimes culture isn’t about enriching your own life; it’s about sharing it with others. The NOME (New Orleans Music and Entertainment Association) has agreed to steer the city into an outward approach in gathering fans. “‘Europeans’ says Ramsey, who points out that New Orleans recordings sell briskly overseas… if we can import the music, NOME asks, why can’t we import the fans?” (Bayles, Martha). Most natives seem skeptical about the plans for their city, but NOME insists that a foreign fan base will not only revive the old jazz culture, but also will improve the suffering economy. Though NOME’s confidence cannot be shaken, citizens of the historic city have doubts of their own. “But, frankly, I don’t see...
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