The Men of Class Second-Line with Da Truth Brass Band Uptown in New Orleans

brass band, events, music, second-lines

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On the Sunday after Grambling homecoming, I drove down from Monroe to New Orleans for a second-line sponsored by a social aid and pleasure club known as the Men of Class. The event was supposed to start from a bar on North Broad Street in Mid-City called the Chocolate Bar, directly across from the Orleans Parish Prison. Unfortunately, the event did not start on time, for a very bizarre reason. Although there was a crowd of fans and second-liners present, and the members of Da Truth Brass Band, nobody from the club that was to parade was present. By the time some of the club members arrived (about two hours late), the band did not seem to want to parade. Somehow, however, this was all worked out, and we began our journey across the overpass into Uptown. No sooner had we reached the other end than we were assaulted by a virtual blizzard of annoying little white insects of some sort. They were everywhere, and nearly everyone around me was involved in waving their hands and arms in front of their face to drive them away. We came to our first route stop on Louisiana Avenue two doors down from Big Man’s Lounge, and when we resumed the parade from there, Da Truth Brass Band broke out with the traditional brass band anthem “Why You Worried About Me.” Ultimately, the route was cut short due to the late start, but we had fun anyway.

Jamal Batiste Live at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club @CuttingEdgeNOLA @SljcNola

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693 Sweet Lorraine's694 Sweet Lorraine's695 Jamal Batiste696 Jamal Batiste697 Jamal Batiste698 Jamal Batiste699 Jamal Batiste700 Jamal Batiste701 Jamal Batiste702 Jamal Batiste
While the Cutting Edge NOLA hip-hop showcase was going on at Cafe Istanbul, a music industry mixer and showcase was also going on a few blocks away at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club, so I stopped by there after I left the Istanbul. The next band to go on stage after I arrived was led by a young drummer named Jamal Batiste, whom I had seen play a couple of years ago with trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and percussionist Bill Summers’ at Mayfield’s second jazz club at the W Hotel. His band this year included members of the Yisrael Trio, a really talented contemporary jazz group that I had seen during last year’s Cutting Edge when they played at a club called Mojitos. Not surprisingly, this group sounded really good indeed. But I had intended to drive further up to Louis Armstrong Park, because the New Orleans South African Connection (NOSACONN) was supposed to be sponsoring some sort of second-line from the park to Sweet Lorraine’s, and I had originally planned to park the car and get it in. But it was outrageously hot, and when I neared the park, I saw that the second-line had only a few musicians and buckjumpers, maybe about 10 in all. So I decided to go uptown and grab dinner instead, and then maybe head to something called the Mid-Summer Mardi Gras that was listed in the event calendars.

From Treme to the Quarter with the Satchmo SummerFest Second-Line

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291 TBC Brass Band & Sudan292 TBC Brass Band & Sudan293 Sudan with the TBC Brass Band294 Sudan with the TBC Brass Band295 Sudan with the TBC Brass Band296 Sudan297 Satchmo Summerfest298 Sudan & The TBC Brass Band302 Sudan & The TBC Brass Band303 Satchmo Summerfest305 Satchmo SummerFest307 Sudan & The TBC Brass Band308 Sudan and the TBC Brass Band309 Zulus & Baby Dolls310 Satchmo SummerFest311 Satchmo SummerFest314 TBC Brass Band315 Satchmo SummerFest316 Satchmo SummerFest317 The Zulus318 The Baby Dolls319 The Baby Dolls320 The Baby Dolls322 Satchmo SummerFest323 Baby Boys Brass Band324 Zulus325 Zulus326 Satchmo SummerFest327 Sudan329 Sudan330 Sudan331 Sudan & TBC Brass Band332 Baby Dolls333 Baby Boys Brass Band334 Zulus335 Zulus336 Satchmo SummerFest338 Sudan339 Sudan & TBC340 Sudan & TBC341 Sudan & TBC342 Sudan & TBC343 Sudan344 Sudan & TBC345 Sudan & TBC346 TBC Brass Band & Sudan347 TBC Brass Band & Sudan348 TBC Brass Band349 TBC Brass Band & Sudan350 Sudan & TBC351 Sudan & TBC352 Sudan & TBC353 The Baby Dolls354 The Baby Dolls355 Sudan356 Sudan357 Buckjumping358 Sudan359 Fi Ya Ya Warriors Drummers
When the jazz mass at St. Augustine’s Church finally ended, the Treme Brass Band came marching out of the church, and the second-line, which had already lined up outside, got underway. The Treme Brass Band was at the front, with the Baby Dolls and Zulus behind them, and then I walked with the TBC Brass Band, who were marching with the Sudan Social Aid and Pleasure Club, and behind us came the Fi Ya Ya Warriors with their chief and their drummers. We marched first down to Rampart Street, past a couple of hotels where tourists were cheering from the balconies, and to the entrance of Louis Armstrong Park, which was entirely appropriate given the purpose of this festival. From there, we headed back down Rampart to Esplanade, and down Esplanade toward the old U.S. Mint where the festival stages were located. Although I had imagined the second-line as something of an artificial thing scheduled for tourists, I was pleasantly surprised to see it pick up second-liners and buckjumpers as it proceeded down Esplanade. By the time we passed through the festival gates at the Mint, there was hardly room to move. I had meant to hang out at the festival, but I soon found that all of my homeboys in the TBC were leaving out to walk back up toward the Treme, and I was tired too. It took every bit of strength I had to walk back up to the Treme Center where I had parked my car.

Treme On The Morning Of A Parade

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224 Treme225 Treme226 Treme and Ursulines227 The House of the Rising Sun228 Treme229 Treme230 Treme231 Treme233 Before the Parade
Each year on a Sunday, usually in August, the Satchmo SummerFest sponsors a second-line that runs from the St. Augustine’s Church in the Treme neighborhood to the Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter, featuring Indian tribes, brass bands, the Baby Dolls and various social aid & pleasure clubs. This year’s second-line was scheduled to start at 12:30, and I thought it would start on time, so I felt I didn’t have time for a leisurely breakfast down in the city, and I grabbed a quick breakfast near my hotel at the Tic Toc Cafe in Metairie. With the parking situation so expensive and limited in and around the French Quarter, I decided to park my car up in Treme, close to the start of the parade route, and, fortunately, I had no problem finding a place to park near the Treme Coffeehouse. It was already extremely hot outside, so I grabbed an ice coffee from the coffeehouse, and then started walking down towards the church where the second-line would be starting. Like many other mornings when I had been in the neighborhood before a parade, the Treme was calm and quiet, but with a sort of eager anticipation in the air as well.

A Day in New Orleans With The TBC Brass Band

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067 Treme Coffeehouse068 Treme Coffeehouse069 Treme Coffeehouse070 Treme Coffeehouse071 Treme072 Treme073 TBC Brass Band074 TBC Brass Band075 TBC Brass Band077 TBC Brass Band078 TBC Brass Band079 TBC Brass Band080 TBC Brass Band081 TBC Brass Band082 TBC Brass Band083 TBC Brass Band084 TBC Brass Band085 TBC Brass Band086 TBC Brass Band087 TBC Brass Band088 TBC Brass Band089 TBC Brass Band090 TBC Brass Band091 TBC Brass Band092 TBC Brass Band093 TBC Brass Band094 Old Church in Gert Town095 Darren Towns096 Broadway097 A Memorial Block Party in Gert Town098 TBC Brass Band100 TBC Brass Band101 TBC Brass Band103 TBC Brass Band104 TBC Brass Band105 Memorial Block Party107 Memorial Block Party108 Memorial Block Party109 TBC Brass Band110 TBC Brass Band111 TBC Brass Band112 TBC Brass Band113 TBC Brass Band114 The Foundation115 Darren Towns116 TBC Brass Band117 TBC Brass Band118 TBC Brass Band119 Memorial Block Party120 Broadway Bar121 In Memoriam122 Memorial Block Party123 Memorial Block Party124 Memorial Block Party125 Memorial Block Party126 Gerttown Hound128 Buckjumping129 CTN Grocery, Gert Town154 TBC Brass Band155 Birthday Party156 TBC Brass Band157 Birthday Party in Gert Town158 Birthday Party in Gert Town159 TBC Brass Band160 TBC Brass Band161 Birthday Party in Gert Town162 TBC Brass Band164 TBC Brass Band165 TBC Brass Band167 TBC Brass Band169 TBC Brass Band170 TBC Brass Band172 TBC Brass Band173 Darren Towns176 TBC Brass Band177 TBC Brass Band178 TBC Brass Band179 TBC Brass Band180 TBC Brass Band181 TBC Brass Band182 TBC Brass Band183 TBC Brass Band184 TBC Brass Band185 TBC Brass Band186 TBC Brass Band187 TBC Brass Band189 TBC Brass Band191 TBC Brass Band192 Black Indians at the Divine Ladies Ball193 Divine Ladies Ball194 Divine Ladies Ball195 TBC Brass Band196 Divine Ladies Ball197 Divine Ladies Ball198 Divine Ladies Ball199 Black Indians200 Black Indians201 Black Indian203 Black Indian204 Rhythmic Foundation205 Black Indians206 Black Indians207 TBC Brass Band208 TBC Brass Band209 TBC Brass Band210 Black Indians211 Black Indians212 Darren Towns and Friend213 TBC Brass Band214 TBC Brass Band215 TBC Brass Band216 TBC Brass Band217 TBC Brass Band218 TBC Brass Band219 The Foundation220 The Foundation221 TBC Brass Band222 TBC Brass Band223 TBC Brass Band at the Sportsman's Ladies Party
It was Satchmo Summer Fest weekend in New Orleans, and my friends in the To Be Continued Brass Band, or TBC, had invited me to spend the afternoon with them going around to their various gigs. They had already played several gigs before I got to New Orleans and caught up with them in the Treme neighborhood around 3:30 in the afternoon. I quickly learned that there’s really no better way to get a crash course in the unique culture of New Orleans than to spend a day with one of the city’s brass bands. During the rest of the afternoon and evening, I rolled with the TBC from a repast in Treme to a memorial block party in honor of someone who had died recently in Gert Town, to a birthday in another part of Gert Town, to a wedding in New Orleans East, to the Divine Ladies Ball at the Mardi Gras Ballroom of the Landmark Hotel in Metairie before winding things down at the Sportsmen’s Ladies event at the Autocrat Social Aid and Pleasure Club on St. Bernard Avenue in the Seventh Ward. Along the way I saw much of the unique “buck-jumping” dance of New Orleans second-lining, members of various social aid and pleasure clubs, and even a few of the Indians in their elaborate hand-sewn regalia, all accompanied by the festive music of one of New Orleans’ best brass bands. The long day of music and celebration ended at 1:30 AM, as the band members and I all headed our separate ways for some badly-needed rest.

Sunday Afternoon on Frenchmen Street @FrenchmenStreet

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Frenchmen Street 012Frenchmen Street 013Frenchmen Street 014Coming Attractions 015d.b.a. 016Frenchmen Street 017Frenchmen Street 018Frenchmen Street 019Dat Dog 020Frenchmen Street 021Brazil Taco Stand 022Frenchmen and Chartres 023Faubourg Marigny Books 024Frenchmen Street 025Praline Connection 026Frenchmen Street 027Frenchmen Street 028Blue Nile 029December Reign 030
Originally, the Money Wasters Social Aid and Pleasure Club was to have had a second-line on Sunday, May 25th, and when I planned my trip to New Orleans, I had planned to go on it. The previous year, they had rolled with my homeboys in the To Be Continued Brass Band, and it had been a whole lot of fun. Unfortunately, this year, something had happened, and the second-line was being reported as cancelled by WWOZ Radio. So, despite the beautiful weather, there was no second-line, so I parked on Elysian Fields and walked down Frenchmen Street toward the new location of Louisiana Music Factory record store. Frenchmen Street is a hotbed of night entertainment, and the best place to go for live music in New Orleans, but it is also attractive and colorful during the day as well.

The End Is Where We Begin

Brass Bands, entertainment, events, jazz, music, New Orleans, second-lines

The Dumaine Street Gang second-line ended where it began in the Treme neighborhood, but the crowds seemed reluctant to disperse. One crowd hung around the corner outside the Café Treme where the parade had ended, while a much larger crowd remained under the bridge on Claiborne, which turned into a car and bike show until the police came and dispersed the crowd on horseback, New Orleans, 12/02/12

Under The Bridge

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When the Dumaine Street Gang second-line came to the Claiborne bridge for the third and final time of the afternoon, there was a crowd of several hundred people under the bridge. From there we made our way back to the corner of St. Philip and Villere where it had all begun four hours before, New Orleans, 12/02/12

TBC Brass Band “Poison” with the Dumaine Street Gang 12-02-12

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#161 TBC Brass Band Poison (by John Shaw)

The TBC Brass Band plays Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” as the Dumaine Street Gang second-line proceeds along North Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans, 12/02/12