What do you hear when Dr. Michael White plays his clarinet?
Can you hear the bayou? The river? The French Quarter? People sitting on their stoops waiting for someone to deliver the news? Penny parties?
That's not a clarinet in the doctor's hands; it's a time machine.
"I listened to Johnny Dodds' recordings. I listened to Sidney Bechet. I listened to George Lewis. I listened to Edmond Hall. I listened to Omer Simeon, Barney Bigard, and so many others. And you listen to that and you say, 'Wow, I would like to capture that feeling.'"
And he has. And he's captured the spirit of a city with his clarinet.
"It seemed to be historic," White says, "but at the same time — timeless."
The talented clarinetist has spent a career in the classroom and on the bandstand making sure generations of audiences hear what he hears.