FIRST FAMILY OF JAZZ…….

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum Beloved Black Family

Sometimes, I forget how high NOLA is on the musical scale of cities in America. Twice, I’ve walked into businesses that looked like little restaurants only to discover they had huge theatres in the back suitable for orchestral performances! (You know I trespass) so, I snuck into one of them and there was a STEINWAY CONCERT GRAND PIANO, just there, like nothing!!!! I was like OMG!!!! If I had had my wits about me, I would have fingered the keys a little, at least, and if I had pushed my luck a little more, (like I normally do 😉 ) I would’ve played it a little bit, if not to see how it sounds then for braggin’ rights! Shiiiiiiiiid, a STEINWAY? Hell Yeah!

Steinway-Concert-Grand-Piano

You can imagine how much they cost.

I can’t help but think back to our little Watts Towers Arts Center and how long they had just a regular piano on their wish list…… And here I just happen to walk into a regular (albeit Jazz inspired) little coffee house and there’s this lush auditorium boasting this beauty!!!
You’re a long way from home, Love…..

I tried to go see Big Poppa Ellis Marsalis, one night, hoping his sons would be there to join him onstage. They’re from Nawlin’s, ya know… But alas, I had not been in town too long and didn’t know where I was going, didn’t have bus (streetcar – I hate that name. I mean aren’t all cars “streetcars?” It’s a fucking trolley. I call it the train. I don’t give a damn if they know I’m from out of town. Shiiid, Foo, I’m from L.A!! Ya betta recognize and Bow Down!!!) fare and ended up walking all night. I kept going long after I knew I had missed the show, just because I was in a new area and it was beautiful.

All of the other neighborhoods I had been in were devastated by Katrina, but this one, not so much. Later, I learned that I was in an area called “Uptown” and it had not been touched by Hurricane Katrina nor the ensuing damaging that followed due to the breakage of the levees. Naturally, this was the more affluent section of town. (Almost every lawn had a paper!) I had not seen one home in the Black neighborhood with a newspaper on the lawn. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I saw any houses in the Black neighborhood with a lawn period. :/

That’s where Zawji bought our house. It’s in a nice neighborhood on a nice quiet street and you know I trespassed and got a good look around. Our kids children have their own apartments. There’s a pool. And a house in the back for our business ventures. Zawji wan….. Okay, My One Love, I won’t let your secret out of the bag although…..

There are two lesser-known Marsalises, one plays vibes and drums. His name is Jason. Another one Delfeayo, is like seemingly, deliberately avoiding stardom, in deference to the hometown love he gets as part of the artists community here in his home town.

I saw him in a “Great Day In New Orleans” photograph taken back in the nineties, but still locate his name highlighted at concert venues around the city at least twice weekly!

So cheah, they got it goin’ on…..

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