African Americans in New Orleans: The Music--Part Two

The great Louis Armstrong in an unidentified performance. The photograph is from the Louisiana Division's Grauman Marks Collection.
Billie and Dede Pierce, one of many African American family groups to make an important contribution to the development of New Orleans jazz, pose together under their portrait, painted by Xavier de Callatay [Grauman Marks Collection].
The City of New Orleans, in a ca. 1985 promotional booklet, recognized the diversity of local music as one of the Crescent City's key drawing cards. The multi-talented Allen Toussaint was an appropriate choice to illustrate this diversity as well as the African American roots of the varied musical genres.
Soprano Gail Gilmore was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in New Orleans. After completing her studies at Xavier University and Indiana University, she launched her professional career in Germany where she sang with the Frankfurt Opera and gave numerous guest performances. Ms. Gilmore continues to add to her operatic repertoire, to perform as a concert artist, and to record.
Mr. Edwin Hampton, long-time music teacher and band leader at St. Augustine High School. His marching band has been a major attraction at carnival parades and other musical events around the Crescent City and beyond.
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January 30, 1997--wme