Enjoy New Orleans-style music, dance, and food; learn about Creole language and culture; and explore traditional African costumes with the American Museum of Natural History during its Global Weekends: NEW ORLEANS: CULTURE REMIXED today, April 28, from 1 to 6 pm.
As part of the national Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) celebrations this April, the Museum will be taking a close look at jazz’s birthplace, New Orleans: how its art forms, rich cultural diversity, and spirit have thrived in a cosmopolitan fusion for nearly three centuries. Join in the celebration through family-friendly activities and performances by Cajun bluegrass ensemble Hoppin’ John String Band and trombonist and Grammy Award-winning producer Delfeayo Marsalis with his popular Party Like It’s Mardi! band.
Like New Orleans’ dynamic cultural and hybrid nature, the Museum introduces visitors to new worlds, allowing them to discover links between global societies and cultural traditions. Hosted by WBGO radio personality Sheila Anderson, the day’s activities will include:
Let’s Talk Creole: An opportunity to discover Creole connections from Louisiana to Haiti and beyond with Tom Klingler, Louisiana Creole language expert of Tulane University; Gregory Guy, linguistics scholar from New York University; and Suzanne Dikker, Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology researcher. Tantra-Zawadi will provide a Haitian Creole reading with musical accompaniment by Aleijuan Afuraka.
Secret Societies: Costumes and Masks: Curatorial associate Jacklyn Lacey from the Museum’s Division of Anthropology will lead a tour through the Hall of African Peoples highlighting initiation costumes throughout Africa and the vibrant history of secret societies in African and African-American traditions; and
The day concludes with a Conversation and Concert with Delfeayo Marsalis. The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master shares his reflections on growing up in New Orleans in a family of musical masters, including father Ellis and brothers Branford, Wynton, and Jason, and speaks about his ongoing efforts to keep New Orleans culture alive and thriving. Following the question-and-answer session, Marsalis and his Party Like It’s Mardi! band will perform complete with a Big Chief Mardi Gras Indian and traditional “second line” dancer. Marsalis will be available for a special CD signing after the performance. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Uptown Music Theatre, a nonprofit arts organization founded by Marsalis that empowers the children and greater community of New Orleans.
Throughout the day, traditional Southern-style culinary favorites will be sold in the Museum Food Court, located on the lower level. Take a bite of the Big Easy’s history and sample some delicious traditional bread pudding. In the Grand Gallery, visitors can also create a Mardi-Gras mask, pick up a free Smithsonian Jazz Appreciation Month poster, and learn how to help the New Orleans-area Habitat for Humanity post-Katrina rebuilding effort.