New Orleans’ Pulse: How Brass Bands are Surviving

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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA– A pulse is direct reading of the heart. There are few cities that have a pulse; New Orleans is one of them.

Noel Freeman is a trumpet player in Young Pinstripe Brass Band and says “brass music to New Orleans is everything. We are a part of Everything. It’s the backbone of weddings, funerals, graduations, festivals and every other celebration. Especially in New Orleans… it’s what we do. Thats the thing about this music; it never dies.”

Mardi Gras this year seems was during a different time in New Orleans. It was the party at the summit, before the world knew how much the coronavirus had spread. As the major carnival krewes continue to plan for next year’s Mardi Gras, there is concern that if the country does not come to a vaccine fast enough, major celebrations will continue to be postponed.

“I know a lot of musicians and live music venues can’t sustain themselves. So a lot of people might loose their clubs or leave town. A gig is everything. It’s how we pay our bills,” says Noel Freeman.

The space between the notes is mirrored by the space between federal stimulus money. For now, the bands are surviving by playing virtual concerts for donations. However, brass band music is similar to music of the church. It’s music to dance, and interact to. Noel Freeman points that fact out clearly saying, “we do this for the fans. But any musician will tell you, it’s about the energy. If you can’t get that energy it’s different. That’s what we feed off of, that energy.”

Young Pinstripe Brass Band has a virtual gig coming up. To check them out click here.

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