Cruisin’ the Crescent

They call New Orleans the “Birthplace of Jazz,” and although other parts of the country may argue the definition of jazz and its origins, what was created here is one-of-a-kind. I became inspired to dive into the history of music in our great city after attending a luncheon benefiting the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. I was absolutely blown away when two of the students performed – they were so talented! The center provides a space for young musicians to gather together and create music from different influences in their lives, which happens to be the same way jazz started.

New Orleans is a melting pot of cultures from all over the world, and when you cross European horns with African drums and then throw in a little gospel music and bar tunes, you basically get jazz. The sound is unique and jubilant, and it continues to make people want to get up and dance. Another great thing about jazz is that it’s appropriate for people of all ages. Whether at a Mardi Gras ball or on the corner of Bourbon and Iberville streets, you’ll see people young and old connecting with the music and dancing.

Jazz is a huge part of the celebrations in our society today. We play it to honor a life at funerals, to second-line at weddings and to rejoice at church services. Like snowflakes, no two jazz songs are alike, and once you hear those wild horns blow, everyone’s hearts beat a little faster. There is no way to explain it verbally – jazz is just something you have to hear. Like Louis Armstrong said, “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.”

Cruisin’ the Crescent
Mary Scott “Scottie” McKinnon was born January 7 and weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces.
She was born at Oschner Hospital to proud parents Mary Scott and Ryan McKinnon.

Cruisin’ the Crescent
John Edward Marshall Jr. was born January 2 at Touro Hospital and weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces.
Both baby and parents Jennifer and John Marshall are happy and healthy at home.

Music lovers gathered at the Civic Theatre for a luncheon benefiting The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. The center, located in the heart of the New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village, is a state-of-the-art recording and educational facility built to help promote and protect the unique musical heritage of New Orleans. Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis served as honorary chairs of the lunch with the aide of event chair Anna Schaefer. The Catering Connection and Fleur De Lis provided a delicious meal of salad and Gulf fish followed by a desert by Bittersweet Confections. The luncheon also featured musical performances by Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis, residents from the Musicians’ Village and Ellis Marsalis Center for Music students. For more information on the center, please visit

Cruisin’ the Crescent
Branford Marsalis, Lauren Mastio, Anna Schaefer and Harry Connick Jr.

Cruisin’ the Crescent
Parker Sternbergh, Rivie Cary and Julie LeCorgne

Cruisin’ the Crescent
Frank Zumbo, Joe Blanchek, Jim Pate, Ted Selogie and Robert Bray

Cruisin’ the Crescent
Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr. playing with residents of the Musicians’ Village

Heard something interesting for “cruisin’ the crescent?”

If so, please send it to: St. Charles Avenue,
110 Veterans Blvd., Ste. 123, Metairie, La. 70005 or email:


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