NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA– The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Mint has been awakening the music of the city, with their series of virtual concerts. The concerts help to fund the museum in their mission of being an ambassador culture and also helps to fund musicians. For many of the musicians, these virtual concerts are their first gigs since the coronavirus shutdown.
Adonis Rose is the Artistic Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and remembers his last concert in the spring saying, “we had a concert planned scheduled March 13th overseas, but we had to shut the city down so it was late February that was the last time I’ve played a gig, which is a really long time.”
Last year, 200,000 people visited the Jazz Museum. They held over 365 concerts and about 20 festivals. The virtual concerts of this year help to keep the music and the mission going but they also help to lengthen the reach of the museum by making their programming available outside of New Orleans. Museums around the world have been evolving this year and Greg Lambousy, the Museum Director of the New Orleans Jazz Museum says, “the coronavirus is pushing museums into doing more online and more virtual programming. I think that eventually we will be back and the world will be thriving again but the online component will stay.”
Vernon Severin is the drummer and band leader of Treme-Lafitte Brass Band and also the father of Adonis Rose. Severn says, “I’ve been here all my life and I’ve never been through nothing like this. We better find a cure for the coronavirus otherwise we’re in trouble. It’ makes us feel good just to play a gig, because we haven’t done it in so long.”
The Jazz Museum’s concerts take place with the band playing from the balcony. A few socially distanced spectators are welcomed inside the museum’s gate and the whole world is welcomed virtually, online. For the people experiencing the concerts, it’s like recognizing a bit of New Orleans come back.
Greg Lambousy says, “people get to see live music who haven’t seen it in months… a number of them have cried. It really is a bright spot in a difficult situation.”
To catch one of the New Orleans Jazz Museum’s concerts you can tune in by clicking here.