Music education in New Orleans is part of the fabric of the city — from early piano lessons to high school marching bands, musical summer camps to neighborhood brass bands. One special place of education, though, has become a special breeding ground for the next generation of artists — a program founded in 1973 called the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, or NOCCA for short. It’s a special place, where growing minds meet teachers who are both educators and professional musicians — and on this episode of New Orleans Calling we’re meeting four musicians, all in their late 20s, who started off as young NOCCA students and are now bringing new sounds to New Orleans and the world.
The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts is located in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans, overlooking the Mississippi River. Famous alumni include Harry Connick Jr., Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison Jr, Sullivan Fortner, Jason Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, and Jonathan Batiste; painter Matt Rinard; actors Wendell Pierce and Anthony Mackie; and writer Lolis Eric Elie.
Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews has become one of the highest-profile New Orleans musicians in the last few years. He’s toured the world with Lenny Kravitz, shared stages with Mick Jagger, U2, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and many others, and recorded with Rod Stewart, Cee-Lo, Robert Randolph, Zac Brown Band, Galactic, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Harry Connick Jr, and many more. This short feature on Trombone Shorty was produced in 2015 by WWOZ’s video unit:
Pianist Kyle Roussel recently performed at WWOZ during their Fall 2015 Pledge Drive, playing a special tribute to the late Allen Toussaint, with a version of his classic “Southern Nights.” He has also performed, recorded, and toured the world with many well-known musicians, including his fellow NOCCA alumni, as well as The Headhunters, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bill Summers, Herlin Riley, Christian Scott, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Delfeayo Marsalis, Shannon Powell, Roland Guerin, Bonerama, Glen David Andrews, Khris Royal and Dark Matter, and Topsy Chapman.
The Improvisational Arts Quintet – “River Niger” (music bed)
Trombone Shorty – “Shortyville” (music bed)
Trombone Shorty – “Unc” (music bed)
Trombone Shorty – “Quiet as Kept”
Nova Nola – “Um Fraze” (music bed)
Robert Joy & Side Show 2014 Broadway Cast – “Come Look at the Freaks” (music bed)
Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground – “Colossus” (music bed)
Wayne Shorter – “JuJu” (music bed)
Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground – “St. James Infirmary” (music bed)
Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground – “Life on Mars” (music bed)
Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground – “Wishes”
Hildegard – “Siren Song” (music bed)
Sasha Masakowski and the Sidewalk Strutters – “Les Oignons”
Sidney Bechet – “Lonesome Blues” (music bed)
The Clarinet Summit – “Creole Love Call” (music bed)
Gregory Agid Quartet – “Two Hours” (music bed)
Gregory Agid Quartet – “Mystery Blues”
Kyle Roussel – “Medicated Magic” (music bed)
Michael Pellera – “In Your Own Sweet Way” (music bed)
Ricky Sebastian – “Dania” (music bed)
Nova Nola – “O Boto intro” (music bed)
Kyle Roussel – “On Green Dolphin Street” (music bed)
Kyle Roussel – “He who kicks Clouds”
Kyle Roussel – “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” (recorded live by WWOZ at Basin St Station)
Kyle Roussel – “Genuflection” (recorded live by WWOZ at Basin St Station)
Jon Batiste & Stay Human – “San Spirito” (music bed)
NEW ORLEANS CALLING is a production of WWOZ, listener-supported community radio in the Crescent City.
George Ingmire is the host, writer, editor, interviewer, audio engineer, intrepid field recorder, and co-producer.
Dave Ankers is the producer.
Melanie Merz is the supervising producer.
National distribution managed by Russell Shelton and Carmen Connor Post.
Web support by David Stafford.
Executive Producer is WWOZ’s General Manager David Freedman.
Live From Basin St Station segment is produced in partnership with Valentino Hospitality Enterprises.
Special thanks to Michael, Bubby, and Jay Valentino, Laura Tennyson, Kim and Kelly from Clandestine Nola, and WWOZ’s Dwayne Breashears.
Live recording of Kyle Roussel by Damond Jacob.
Very special thanks to Bill Summers, who served as emcee and interviewer for Kyle Roussel at Basin St Station!
Special thanks to:
Brian Hammell of New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
Sally Young and Melanie Merz, for their voice talents.
Charlie Steiner and Damond Jacob.
Photo courtesy Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee, www.rhrphoto.com.