new-orleans-2009-125Another beautiful day from beginning to end. We met at St. Raymond’s and went to our respective houses. All four groups worked on various stages of the painting process. Once again, our group worked primarily on exterior painting on Mazant Street. Caitlyn had a platform delivered, which made painting the upper reaches of the house easier. We continued painting the sides of the house and brick porch, and I primed the front trim, which had been painted a dark shade of red.

new-orleans-2009-121At lunch, we strayed from the standard fare of sandwiches and chips, and with Caitlyn’s advice, ordered po-boys from Stewart’s on Claiborne Avenue. Although they did reach the level of Domilise’s, they were quite good and a whole lot less expensive. Our selections ranged from chicken finger and hamburger to catfish and shrimp. Remarkably, we made it though the afternoon without taking naps and wrapped up work about 3:30pm.

Everyone rushed back to Madonna Manor to shower and dress for a traditional jazz concert at Xavier by Dr. Michael White. We were joined there by Joon Cho and his wife. A recent UNH grad, Joon had seen the story about our class in the Campus Journal online. He is currently working at LSU and we were happy to have him join our intimate group.

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White (clarinet), was joined by Mitchell Player on bass, Detroit Brooks on banjo, and Greg Stafford on trumpet. Stafford also brought his affecting vocal to a couple of numbers. I suspect that most students were not sure what to expect, but he gave a brief overview of New Orleans culture, followed by musical examples of marches, rags, spirituals, and blues; that is, those ingredients when stirred together created jazz. He added examples of traditional jazz tunes, improvisation (a wonderful recreation of Sidney Bechet’s version of “Summertime”), one of his own compositions, “Gypsy Second Line”), and an improvised version of “Happy Birthday” for new-orleans-2009-137the girls in our group with birthdays, namely: Erica, Meaghan, Alicia, Kayla, and Erin. I add Erin now, because I forgot to before the concert. Sorry Erin. If discussion and questions afterwards are any measure, the level of engagement was quite high.

Afterwards, most students, exhausted from the day’s events, returned to Marrero. A few hearty souls went back into the Quarter, while some of the over 21 crowd went to catch the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Maple Leaf Uptown. They were the firswt New Orleans brass band that I got to know and they remain one of my favorite ensembles of any type. It was unfortunate, but not surprising, that the first set started late – an hour and a half late! However, it did not disappoint and Stu, who along with Meaghan, Zack, and Jed stayed for the second set, had to admit that they are pretty damned good. I cut out after the first set, which ended with a rousing and extended cover of the Meters’ “Cissy Strut.” Exhausted, I returned back to Madonna Manor, falling asleep with the amplified brass sounds still ringing in my ears.

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