Tuesday, September 27, 2005

New Orleans--The Birthplace of an American Original--p1

"Jazz evolved hand in glove with American culture...it is essentially an African-American musical phenomenon that evolved out of the unique historical, cultural, and social currents of eighteenth- and ninteenth-century New Orleans. The factors that underlie its emergence are many, but one stands above all: the fact that New Orleans was at base, a French Society." "The French quality of New Orleans...was reflected most notably in a level of openenss, tolerance, and freedom that simply could not be found in other (non-French) parts of the U.S. during the nations' formative years. "The city became a destination for a wide range of outsiders--not just French, but Germans, Swiss, and other Europeans...slaveholding was widespread in New Orleans, but even in this respect the city was unique: Some slaves were free on weekends to participate in the city's work and social life, and they did. 'Free' blacks also made New Orleans their home." "the inclusive nature of New Orleans showed itself as well in the degree to which the various races intermingled and eve intermarried." This "allowed for the development of a unique musical culture in New Orleans--a musical culture open to a great diversity of sounds and styles. "With people of such distinct backgrounds commonly sharing social functions, music in New Orleans was obliged to appeal to many different ears." Interesting...For some reason "whites were not white in New Orleans. The primary goal was not to distinguish oneself over and against the new tribe of African's being created in this country. (this is not to say the racism was absent). I wonder, what was it about French Society that allowed for this? Jazz began as a result of convergence...to be continued. (quotes by Loren Schoenberg)


Anonymous lightskinned negro said...

My Cool Daddy,

The French traders were also known to have much better relations with American Indian tribes than the English and other traders. A high rate of intermarriage was one example of this.


I don't know, but it seems like something about coming from a Catholic vs. Calvinist Protestant culture has to be considered. On the other hand, the Cajuns were descendants of the French Protestant dissidents, as I recall.

Gumbo. It's so confusing. Like you. Like me.


3:19 PM  
Blogger Matt Wilson said...

You really made Donald Miller's quote "I never like jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself..." and his ideas from there on God come to life with your entries. I don't have a comment to "add to the discussion" I am enjoying your posts.

Blessings my friend...

P.S. I love jazz (played trumpet in a band for years...i'm just letting the thoughts of miller fill my head when I was reading your posts :))

5:56 AM  
Blogger jazztheo said...


I had not made the connection with Miller's book and this blog. I believe taht a jazz approach to theology is necessary for emergent/postmodern Christianity.

thanks for stopping by.

2:03 PM  

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