And the bands play on in New Orleans

And the bands play on in New Orleans
September 1, 2009
Rose Stabler

Note:This article is the first in a series of articles this month commemorating the rebirth of New Orleans' music and the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
Please visit the website to view the remaining articles in the series and other articles on the New Orleans music scene.)

Four years ago today, eighty percent of the city of New Orleans was underwater. Most wondered if the city would ever come back; many wondered the same of iits music.

The rescilence of New Orleans and its people has kept the city from dwindling into just another small town on the bayou. During the summer of 1853 Yellow Fever took the lives of 7,849 people in New Orleans , with over 11,000 more of its citizens dying from the "scourge" in the following 5 years. Numerous large scale fires have burned in the city , including one in the French Quarter that burned the first Opera House ever built in the western hemisphere. While a cigarette tossed near a cotton warehouse in 1892, eventually burned 185 homes, left countless homeless and totalled $3,000,000. in losses- in 1892 dollars.

That same rescilence lives on in New Orleans' music. Just this week, 4 days before Katrna's fifth anniversary, the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), the world’s largest organization of professional travel journalists and photographers, ranked New Orleans as its "Top City for Live Music" in North America.

“Travel should involve all five senses, and one of the great travel experiences is listening to live music in the places where it originated or in spectacular settings,” says SATW president, Bea Broda.:

Following New Orleans, the other cities in order of ranking include New York City; Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Chicago, Illinois; Memphis, Tennessee; Montreal, Canada; Las Vegas, Nevada; Branson, Missouri and Denver, Colorado.

To experience New Orleans revived live music scene yourself, head to the Marigny, the relatively new center of the city's live music. By following Royal or Chartres Street in the French Quarter eastward ( away from Canal Street), cross Esplanade Avenue with the Marigny beginning on the east side of Esplanade. Chartres Street will take you into the heart of the live music on Frenchmen Street .

More on the revival of New Orleans music post-Katina

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