City officials and developers have big plans for Tulane Avenue. The rough patch of old Airline Highway will hold two new hospitals, and a planned biomedical corridor. It’s slated to have fewer lanes of traffic and new landscaping, too. But, change is slow. Some residents and business owners who have invested in the neighborhood feel let down by the seedy motels and high crime that persist on Tulane Avenue.
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," White says. "And you listen to that and you say, 'Wow, I would like to capture that feeling.'"
And now we continue our summer song series. We're talking to Gwen Thompkins, host of the program "Music Inside Out," which is heard on member station WWNO in New Orleans. She's introducing us to a handful of contemporary artists who've offered a new take on some old classics. Allen Toussaint has been writing songs and shaping the New Orleans rhythm and blues and rock sound since he was a teenager. Now he's in his 70s and he's experimenting with jazz. And Gwen Thompkins is back with us. Hi, Gwen.
One of the original new-school New Orleans brass bands, a Dirty Dozen show guarantees a good time. This year actually marks three dozen years since the first incarnation of the group coalesced to resurrect a then-disappearing tradition — and infuse it with both bebop and funk. As with many a show since '77, there was dancing and handkerchief-waving aplenty, and several original members were present to anchor the proceedings.
Roger Hayward Lewis, baritone and soprano saxophone
Last month the Obama Administration pushed back the employee mandate under the Affordable Care Act by one year. Employers with 50 or more full-time workers now have until 2015 to either provide their workers with health insurance or face a penalty.
In states that are expanding Medicaid as part of the the new health law’s roll-out, businesses have more flexibility in deciding how to make sure their workers are covered. And though Louisiana is not participating, proponents of expanding Medicaid in the state see the delay of the employer mandate as a chance to rally some small business support.
When Louisiana officials unveiled the $50-billion Master Plan for the Coast, a 50-year program that could prevent most of southeast Louisiana from sinking under the Gulf by the end of the century as predicted, they knew one of their most important priorities would be getting reliable, long-term funding through Congress.