This week, World Cafe invites listeners to discover the music of New Orleans with the series Sense of Place.
New Orleans is a city with soul, and that soul is made of brass. Trombone Shorty can tell you all about it. He's been playing trumpet, drums and — as the moniker implies — trombone for about as long as he's been standing on two legs. As an integral spoke in the great wheel of Crescent City jazz, funk and big brass music, Trombone Shorty (a.k.a. Troy Andrews) is the perfect person from whom to seek insight on what this music means to the city.
So is longtime New Orleans resident Davis Rogan, who inspired the character Davis McAlary on HBO's Treme. An eccentric musician who's as much of a character as his TV alter ego, Rogan knows what's good in the world of New Orleans' big brass. A perfect example of that sound is Rebirth Brass Band's "Do Watcha Wanna," which blares around the clock during every Mardi Gras. Drummer Derrick Tabb speaks to the musical and cultural role his band plays as one of the most influential groups in New Orleans.
In the video above, watch as Trombone Shorty takes World Cafe host David Dye to an authentic Crescent City Second Line parade, a longstanding Sunday-afternoon tradition that showcases brass bands and is chock-full dancing, joyous people.