Young Musicians Keep Tradition Alive in NOLA

The Hundreds Brass Band is a group founded in New Orleans, LA and is committed to keeping the traditional brass band style of music alive.  Marques Green and his cohort of 7 others are part of a local street performance group that play mainly on the weekends.

“New Orleans is a city rich with music and food,” Green says.  “We keep some of the music and traditions going.”

These words ring true in the late afternoons at French Market Place as crowds gather around the band.  People from all walks of life maneuver into the street to listen, dance, and put one dollar bills into a blue basket that says “tips.”

The Hundreds Brass Band is one of many groups in New Orleans that is known for performing traditional-style jazz music.  The band writes their own songs, plays gigs when they have time, and make a living doing so.  Brass bands and New Orleans have been synonymous with each other since the early nineteenth century.  Matt Sakakeeny asserts that “the musical style of most brass bands generally focuses around Jazz.”  He goes on to say that “Jazz is a composite genre, mixing ragtime, blues, spirituals, marches, European dances, Latin American rhythms, and American popular songs into a specifically African American musical style.”

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While they do not record, they do consider themselves to be professionals.  Most of the members of the band are college students, so they do not have time to commit to recording albums.  They do, however, continue to give people a great performance when they stand under the same balcony on the same street corner and play until the saints go marching in.

“I, myself, am a college student.  I work two jobs, and I do this outside of that.  It’s my passion.”

 

 

Photos by Cornelius Thompson

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