In The Swing Of Things: New Orleans

It’s 2018, and 5 months into the 10-month-long fellowship with the Louis Armstrong House Museum! Time sure does fly when you are having fun! Over the holiday break I ventured back home down south. Even though Jackson, Mississippi is home, I made a stop in the Big Easy!

It was exciting to meander down famous walkways. All of the beautiful antique shops and historical restaurants always attract visitors such as myself.  It’s always amusing to see fortune tellers, sword swallowers, jazz and street performers adorn the streets of The French Quarter. As I was approaching my brunch destination, I overheard a street band playing a familiar tune. It began with those magical lyrics, “I see trees of green…”

Instinctively I stopped in my tracks and approached the source of the melody. A crowd of about 30 people had already gathered around to hear. I stopped amongst them and sang along. “Red roses too…I see them bloom for me and you…” Shortly thereafter the lead singer/trumpeter had waltzed over and picked me from the crowd! He clasped my hand and we began to sing and dance together. He then whisked me to the middle of the court and allowed me to sing beside him for the duration of the song! The impromptu performance was a success!

It is quite amazing to know that Louis’s music is still booming through the streets of his hometown. To see live bands still performing his songs and continuing his legacy almost 50 years following his death is applaudable. It’s heartwarming that Louis is still recognized as a highlighted figure in his New Orleans’ community and abroad.

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