Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Essay Topic For New Orleans

Like I stated in my previous blog, I will be heading down to New Orleans with a group of photographers from The Art Institute International Minnesota to take my Photo Essay class. We were instructed to find a topic we were interested in and to document it while we were there.
Growing up, I was surround with music. My Grandpa, a jazz musician, always was playing tunes on the piano of Duke Ellington, Count Baise, and Even New Orleans’ very own Louis Armstrong. Jazz music has always been a huge influence on me, and is a style I take with me even now as a musician myself. Because of my grandpa and his love for music, I got involved with it at a very you age, and we would listen to old 45’s on the turntable and talk about his days playing shows with jazz bands growing up. One of the most mind-blowing things to me growing up was, that my Grandpa has been blind sense he was just a young boy in single digits. Although his sight was gone, he could see better than anyone I have ever known, and could paint pictures with his piano playing and drumming better than anyone I have ever heard.
Sense I got into photography; I always known the music scene was a great place for me to be taking photographs. That is why I have chose to follow and document the New Orleans Jazz scene; What better place? In some sense, it’s the foundation of my musical interests, even though I have never been there. But I feel by taking photos and following the New Orleans Jazz scene, I will be able to go back in time and learn even more about what my grandpa has taught me, and continue a common bound that the two of us have for over 20 years.

New Orleans Post1

On June 22nd of this year, I will be heading down to New Orleans with some photo students from The Art Institute International Minnesota to study, research, and document what we see. Prior to this trip, we have been given films to watch so we have some background knowledge on the city we will be following. The first film given to us was called “American Experience: New Orleans” put out by PBS. This DVD was a great film as well as a very informative DVD. Not only did it cover Hurricane Katrina, but it also did an outstanding job informing us on the history and background of the city; How it began, as well as how it got to be where it is today.
In 1682, french explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, and a small party arrive at the mouth of the Mississippi River. La Salle claims the region and names it Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV of France. Later on New Orleans became the capital city o Louisiana in 1723. Then in 1803, the United States purchased Louisiana from France for about $15 million.
New Orleans has always been a widely diverse community and city with people from all over the world. It was a city like no other in the United States. People would come from all over the world to visit and New Orleans quickly became one of the top cities in the U.S.
The city of New Orleans founded some of the greats cultural traits of the U.S. including Jazz. The film stated that Jazz was one of the only styles of music that was purely created in America. The music scene is enormous in New Orleans and was a way of life for the city. From Jazz, to “Spazz Bands”, and Brass Bands, everywhere you could go in New Orleans you would hear the sounds of music being played throughout. It was also the home and birthplace to one of the greatest known jazz musicians, Louis Armstrong. Aside from the music scene, which is going to be my main focus while in New Orleans, the city is also greatly know for it’s food, and love for life. People love to celebrate life and some of the best ways to do it is with parades and meals of gumbo.
New Orleans had many ups in downs with race throughout its existence, as well as social classes and economics. One thing that I learned from this storm is that Hurricane Katrina actually pulled the community even tighter together than it ever had been before. Although the destruction was catastrophic, by watching this film, you feel a strong sense of pride for the people of New Orleans, and it opens up your heart to follow the great example the community and people of New Orleans has set for us. Although there are natural disasters that can take away our homes, they can never take away what New Orleans is, and the pride and love the people of New Orleans have.