NEW ORLEANS MARDI GRAS MUSIC & TRADITIONS
Courtesy of www.MardiGrasUnmasked.com
In endeavoring to chronicle the panorama of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, we heed the words of the late New Orleans journalist and novelist Robert Tallant in his 1947 book Mardi Gras…As It Was.
"I think if there is any world left in which human beings still laugh and still, even on rare occasions, have fun, there will be Mardi Gras, and that it will live through whatever catastrophes occur…Men cease to laugh only when they are very ill or when they have become beasts….That is why Mardi Gras is not a trivial matter but a very important one. In a way it is a symbol of the art of being human, and wherever people are still human, wherever they still enjoy living, it will exist in some form.”
MARDI GRAS MUSIC
"We parade at the drop of a hat for just about any event you can imagine...," New Orleans scholar and clarinetist Michael White once observed on a radio program. "And people get out and dance; that's what the spirit is all about." This spirit of joie de vivre—i.e., the Mardi Gras spirit—is almost a precondition of the "happy-times music" for which the Crescent City became famous. Mardi Gras music makes you want to tap your feet, clap your hands, get up and "shake your butt until your butt is funky."
And the same spirit that prompts revelers to shed inhibitions and seek ritual transformation has a way of encouraging playfulness and spontaneity on the bandstand, resulting in countless renditions of old Carnival favorites such as "Carnival Time," "Mardi Gras Mambo," "Second Line," "Go to the Mardi Gras" and "Big Chief." What's more, every year brings the release of new contenders for jukebox immortality.
Click to Learn more about New Orleans Mardi Gras Music Genres & Evolution.
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HAPPY MARDI GRAS!
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