Sunday, December 31, 2006

Artspace, Shreveport, offered a tribute to the New Orleans jazz second line umbrella during the Faces of Katrina exhibit

Click here for the second line How-to video created for the students and teachers who enjoyed the Artspace educational activities.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Rebirth Brass Band: get one of their rockin street jazz albums to shake the house

Originally uploaded by CST.
One of the quintessential founts of funk, the Rebirth Brass Band tours all over the world. People are amazed when they realize that they're dancing and sweating to an acoustic group made mostly of horns. But it is Hot music.

We have Got To have a great brass band for our part of the parade.

New Orleans: Skeleton Krewe 2003

Skeleton Krewe 2003
Originally uploaded by skeletonkrewe.
Discovered a swell New Orleans marching society called the Skeleton Krewe. They march ahead of the floats on Fat Tuesday, it says.

Love the imagination and blanc et noirness. Early parades in NO were populated not by floats but by big-headed costumers like these.

Of course, big costume heads are difficult. While they must be fun to design, construct and paint, parading while wearing the head must be uncomfortable.

One day I'd love to see an art show associated with our parade. Skulls such as these would make an attention-demanding exhibit.

Ultimate carnival marching societies: the Mardi Gras Indian tribes

Mardi Gras Indian Child
Originally uploaded by skeletonkrewe.
The Mardi Gras Indian tribes are a perfect example of New Orleans' marching societies. The massive and artistic costume becomes a type of parade float. Chanting and percussion is their musical accompaniment. I do love the sound of drums and people chanting, "Two-way pocky way!" and "Hey - pocky-way!"

January 6, Saturday at 1 pm: Marching Society meeting time at Brother's Seafood

Kathy Brodnax, former New Orleanian, was telling me that my plans for Blanc et Noir sounded something like the Crescent City's Krewe of Debris.

Imagination is one thing I'd like to encourage in the B & N. We live in such a passive society. It is, indeed a pleasure to have your lively company.

Here's a snap from the announcement meeting. These breakfasters joined in the fun by making their mask from one sheet of paper, no scissors. You'll notice that each person's mask is somehow individual.

You could make an entire costume from an agglomeration of sheets of paper, I think.

Don't hesitate to invite other people to join us Sat, Jan 6, at Brother's.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bring a guest! Bring yourself to a B & N meeting: Sat, Jan 6, Brother's Seafood, 1 pm

Red River District
Originally uploaded by JoBrad.
The Times story on us is slated for Dec 31. I hereby call a meeting at Brothers Seafood, Red River District, on Sat, jan 6, 1 pm.

Tara-ma Davenport has volunteered to call and make derangements for us. Dutch treat, of course.

Dues, $25. You'll get copies of How To Mardi Gras and Certificates.

Business: the banner, costumes, getting more members, the progress getting the band squared away.
And more p h o t o s, of course.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Simple style trumps all in NY Times coverage of Venetian Carnavale party

E Lippman
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Face painted black with the exception of a band across the eyes: priceless sense of imagination. Simplicity trumps all. From an NYC party given by Marc jacobs in which the rest of the costumes featured in the NYT were elaborate copies of the ancient Carnival.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The second line answers the universal need to dance

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
People got to dance. And a marching society can help them by parading with a brass band. Parade watchers become dancing participants for a while when the band goes by.

At the Dec 14 meeting:
Didn't get any photos of the Blanc et Noir meeting at Festival Plaza, because my hands were full of umbrellas and so on. But Times photographer Shane Bevel got some for Maggie Martin's Dec 31 Times story on local krewes.

Steve Allen and son Chandler played sax and trombone. Steve was art director, suggesting a compressed composition to the photog that was probably the best of the session.

Bruce Flett brought his trombone and son Jake as well as a life-size cardboard Elvis. Marion Marks dressed in a 70's vintage caftan and was happy to be able to get it on over his clothes. Eric Gipson dressed in lab coat and carried a molecular sculpture as part of his Mad Scientist schtick. Matthew Linn brought his Cheshire cat smile and stuck with us through the shenanigans. John Blake, Caddo Magnet High trumpet player, came along with Chandler Allen. Ron Hardy, alas, came aong after things were wrapped.

Last night I got a buzz from Lois McFarland who said she would take a look at helping me with organization. I need help managing people and phoning participants before meetings and Lois may be the helper that will take the energy up higher.

Next meeting will be Sat, January 6, at 1 pm. It will be held at Brother's Seafood. In fact, Tara-ma and Jerry Davenport are making arrangements for the little extra room for the lunch, which is pay-as-you-go.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Meet at Festival Plaza Thur, Dec 14, 4 pm for fun, planning and photos

Paris brass band
Originally uploaded by Rockies.
Bill Causey has jumped in with me on planning the brass band side of the Blanc et Noir. Delighted to have his help!

This photo of a young brass unit in Paris reminds us that what we're organizing has a global vibe. In Louisiana we got carnival from Paris and the Parisians got jazz from Bayou land.

This group's garb leaves something to be desired but, hey, youth will be served.

Hope to see you Thursday at Festival Plaza.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Doing media in preparation for Krewe of Highland Parade, 07: photo shoot for the Times Th, Dec 14, 4 pm

Can you be present for a photo shoot for the Times on Thur, Dec 14, 4 pm, at Festival Plaza? A costume of some sort is needed!

Please email to confirm that you want to join and will be there at Festival Plaza, downtown Shreveport.

Dues are $25 per.

Laissez . . .

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Blanc et Noir Marching Society may second line in Municipal Auditorium for a major non-profit findraising event

Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Originally uploaded by daytrotter.
Blanc et Noir is the new kid in town. Therefore, people will enjoy tapping into our energy. As well they should.

While I was asked not to say a thing about the March event or the Crescent City performers slated to headline the show, I am happy to report the un-named event organizer has asked Blanc et Noir to consider second lining at this not-yet-to-be-revealed large scale performance.


Blanc et Noir needs a banner in order to inspire the troupe and brand the organization

Here's a banner from The City. I like this group's gallows humor: Order of the Obituary Cocktail. The blanc et noir needs a banner, too.

Come to the meeting Fri, Nov 3, 5 - 6 pm, Columbia Cafe, with suggestions. Please.


Gang meeting #1 at Columbia Cafe, 5 to 6 pm, Fri, Nov 3

Originally uploaded by aloofdork.
The pleasure of your company is requested at Columbia Cafe, Creswell at King's Hwy, Shreveport, for the first true convocation of the blanc et noir marching society. That will be Fri, Nov 3, between 5 and 6 pm.

Repondez, s'il vous plait: Or 318-861-6809.

Above: some inspiration from the far side of the flung coin: the Society of St Anne, a troupe of Crescent City careeners.

Not that I expect blanc et noir to start off at that level of technicolor, but, we can dream, can't we?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Blanc et Noir Marching Society joins Krewe of Highland parade Sun, Feb 18, 2007

The Blanc et Noir Marching Society is Shreveport's newest addition to Carnival as observed in Protestant North Louisiana. Designed and built for those who love brass band jazz and the traditions of Catholic, Creole New Orleans, the society will march the Krewe of Highland route on Sun, Feb 18, 07.

Dancing - second lining - will commence when the krewe hears the bass drum and snare drum of the 5-piece brass band. Members will probably toss some sort of charm to the crowd - we call them "throws" - but will not be required to do so. Costumes will be wild, we assume, and perhaps wooly. We leave that to the inspiration derived by the members at krewe suppers and from their globe girdling research.

At the moment we are busy making plans for the Dutch treat suppers and such.

Dues for charter marchers will be $25. The principal expense, by the way, is the band's fee.

Those with deep pockets may decide to take a charter membership level called the Louis Quatorze. That will cost $100.

Marching society members will get a copy of How To Mardi Gras, a proclamation that declares their official and blessed anointing by Le Grand Fromage and their photo and bio on this site. We are looking into having a laminated All Access hang card for members, too.

Make checks payable to Robert Trudeau, for he's one of the true arbiters of Carnival canards and the founder of the Blanc et Noir.

Send your queries to

Allons danser!