The Politics of Jazz (And Race, And Poverty) In New Orleans

As the rebuilding of New Orleans begins, concern is growing about the direction the reconstruction will take, and whether it will benefit the city’s poorest and darkest-skinned residents. In particular, New Orleans jazz musicians have begun to raise their voices against what they fear will be the “Disney-fication” of the cultural scene. “And if the plans for the future of the city don’t include its humblest residents, I fear that the communities that created jazz in the first place will be dispersed — and the country will have lost a good bit of its soul.”