This fall, the 25-year-old Don Jamison Heritage School of Music will move into its first permanent home on Rampart Street, across from the French Quarter. The building’s façade is being sanded and painted for a December opening.
“All the classrooms are gonna have recording equipment so we can record each class,” says Derek Douget, the school’s coordinator of music education since 2010. “We have a state-of-the-art stage where we can do performances at the end of the week.”
On a per-capita basis, Louisiana leads the nation in the number of people behind bars. A diverse group of business and religious leaders have come together to support laws that could lower the state’s incarceration rates.
In this latest installment of the continuing WWNO and WYES series on criminal justice reform, Marcia Kavanaugh looks into how the Louisiana Smart on Crime initiative fared in this past legislative session.
It’s easy to tease out the artists who’ve inspired A.J. Croce’s singing over the years — Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, Buddy Holly, even Ray Davies of The Kinks. He loves early rock n roll and R&B. So perhaps it’s ironic that A.J. rarely sounds like his father, singer-songwriter Jim Croce, who made his mark on music in the late 1960s and early 70s.
With nine albums to his credit and more than 20 years as a touring musician, A.J. Croce is his own man, performing his own music. And a devoted fan base has shown its appreciation for the genre-busting of the younger Croce.
South Louisiana’s Terrebonne Parish has low unemployment — there are lots of jobs in offshore services. So many that there could be a shortage of locals with the skills needed. The Working Coast summer camp in Houma teaches kids about the big industries in their area, and aims to get them excited about those career paths.
About 30 kids hang their fishing poles over a small bridge outside the Water Life Museum in Houma, Louisiana. They’re enjoying their last day at the Working Coast Camp.
The face of coastal erosion in Louisiana is often defined by the most visibly threatened communities. Towns that are literally trying to determine how long they have before they might have to move. And while there’s few people calling on New Orleans residents to start making Plan B’s, some local leaders are trying to get their constituents to be more aware.
When John Boutté commits to a song, he tailors it like a suit from Savile Row, breaking down the lyrics then building them back up again to say exactly what he means. If a Paul Simon song conjures the image of early Americans sailing to the New World on the Mayflower ship, Boutté will sing the same song and mention early Americans who sailed on the slave ship Amistad. If Dave Bartholemew writes that the grass looks greener somewhere else, Boutté will sing that the grass is greener right here at home.
Some red states like Louisiana and Texas have emerged as leaders in a new movement: to divert offenders from prisons and into drug treatment, work release and other incarceration alternatives.
By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In recent years, sentencing reformers in the capital, Baton Rouge, have loosened some mandatory minimum sentences and have made parole slightly easier for offenders to get.
But as reformers in Louisiana push for change, they're also running into stiffening resistance — especially from local prosecutors.