01/25/06

Musicians, Scholars Gather to Discuss New Orleans

Several prominent musicians, scholars and community leaders are scheduled to take part in a conference this week hosted by Columbia University to discuss the cultural rebuilding of New Orleans.

New Orleans: Rebuilding the Musical City will be held tomorrow through Saturday on the campus of Columbia University in New York City. The conference theme is: “What can our nation do to rebuild New Orleans with the maximum degree of love for its cultural riches and for the everyday citizens who have kept its culture alive?”

Conference participants include music scholar John Szwed, who recently earned a Grammy nomination for his liner notes to the 2004 Jelly Roll Morton box set, The Complete Library of Congress Recordings; New Orleans-based musicians Allen Toussaint, Juanita Brooks, Herlin Riley, Michael White and Evan Christopher; and Rev. James A. Forbes Jr. of New York’s historic Riverside Church, who will deliver the keynote address.

There will be several performances by conference participants; a screening of the film All on a Mardi Gras Day, which documents Carnival in New Orleans; an exhibit of photographs of New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina; and panel discussions on the cultural legacy of New Orleans, restoration of the city’s historic architecture and New Orleans’ place within national culture.

The conference is free and open to the public, but it is requested that attendees RSVP. For more information, email noconference@gmail.com.

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