A discussion of four sites linked to New Orleans’ music culture and history — interspersed with musical performances — will take place on Sept. 21 at a public event called “Sites and Sounds at the Old U.S. Mint.” The presentation is organized by Amber Wiley of the Tulane School of Architecture and is an outgrowth of a class Wiley taught last fall.
At A. L. Davis Park in New Orleans, circa 1950, members of the Silver Leaf Brass Band tune up before a Sunday parade. (from the Ralston Crawford Collection, Hogan Jazz Archive, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library)
The afternoon of music, light refreshments and conversation in the French Quarter will focus on the history and potential future of:
• A. L. Davis Park, a celebration site for Mardi Gras Indian tribes and brass band parades
• Dew Drop Inn, an important venue for African American live music from the 1940s–1970s
• The Magnolia Projects public housing, birthplace of several hip hop artists
• Brown Sugar Records, a store that reflects a time when music was locally promoted and distributed.
The event will feature R&B legend Deacon John Moore; The Paulin Brothers Brass Band; Littdell S. Banister, Big Queen of the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians; Jamahl Washington, former owner and manager of Brown Sugar Records; and Bruce Barnes of the National Park Service, as well as Wylie.
The seminar that was taught by Wiley at Tulane highlighted the intersections of the built environment, cultural geography and music to create public history projects that were included on MediaNOLA.org
, a project of the Tulane Communication Department.
The coursework applied research methodologies to gain an understanding of New Orleans neighborhoods as rendered by the production, consumption and communities of local music artists, says Wiley, a visiting assistant professor. “This research revealed narratives of hierarchical power, places of struggle, claims to territory, visibility (or lack thereof) and a sense of place.”
The free event from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at 400 Esplanade Ave. is supported by Tulane City Center
, the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South
and the New Orleans Jazz National Heritage Park