Prologue: Hugging, kissing, huggingkissinghugging my friends. Tears came on seeing Slate. I’m here, people, I am here! Liveblogging as usual, so keep checking back here for updates. Also follow the #risingtide and #rt4 hashtags on Twitter.
Emcee Loki is up there! Watch out, wake up, etc. Introducing Wet Bank Guy, the moderator of the Culture Panel. Panelists are Edward Buckner of The Porch Seventh Ward Culture Organization and the Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club, Susan Tucker, editor of New Orleans Cuisine: Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories and Bruce Raeburn of the Hogan Jazz Archive and author of New Orleans Style and the Writing of American Jazz History.
Raeburn: About 60% of the music population has returned, but with fewer paying gigs. “If you are making $100 a night, six nights a week, you’re not going to make it … What happens if the culture doesn’t come back?”
Buckner on music and culture: “Kids relate to [musical heroes like Kermit Ruffins, Trombone Shorty].” Buckner contends that Mardi Gras Indians and musicians need the means to record, photograph and archive themselves so they can make the money instead of writers and photographers. Alex Rawls tweets, “No one’s making money off MG Indians, writers and photogs included.”
Raeburn: “Displacing musicians” into neighborhoods that they are not from disrupts musical culture.
Tucker on food: “New Orleans was the first gastronomic statement in the US … Expensive food and no neighborhood stores is a problem.” Reads from 2007 obituary of local musician: “He didn’t eat pork unless it was on a muffuletta!” Emphasizes support for local food.
Buckner: “How much damage are we doing to the culture of New Orleans?” Lists everything from crime, lack of quality education, everything we know and have talked about that keep New Orleans culture from “blossoming.” “We as a society need to embrace each other just as we embrace the music.”
Tucker: “People in exile thought about [New Orleans food] a lot.” Tucker keeps mentioning talking and thinking about food. We do that on blogs and should do it more. The lovely Swampwoman reads my mind and asks Ms. Tucker about it.
Food, music, family, neighborhood, community. This is vital to New Orleans recovery and survival. Red beans & rice on Monday. Large family- and friend-centric meals. The only two places I’ve experienced this are with my own large Indian family and my larger New Orleans family, witnessed last night in culinary spread and friends that came together to welcome D and me back. This is special.
Please visit and donate to The Roots Of Music – New Orleans’s only free, year-round music education program.
Thank you for a great panel! Makes me want to go home and cook, and blog about it!