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Norman Dixon, New OrleansJazz and Heritage Festival Coordinator Interviewed at 3621 Burgundy Street, October 2001 / have been doing the coordination of brass bands and socialandpleasure clubsfor Jazz Festival for thirty-two years now. When I started, it was1972.. That was the first time they had it at the Fairgrounds. It happened through DocPaulin's band. He was playing at theJazz Festival, and he introduced me to Quint Davis, becauseI'm chairman of the boardof the Young Men Olympian Junior Benevolent Association. We're not a social andpleasure club; we're a benevolent association. We didJazz Fest at first with only two clubs: there was the Young Men Olympian and the Scene Boosters. They're the two oldest clubs out there. We take it in turns to open. For two or three years, Doc Paulin was the only brass band theyhad. Then the crowdstarted toget solarge Quint Davis and I had a meeting and decided to have some of the other socialandpleasure clubs out there. Quint asked me to coordinate it. Now, today, from starting thirty years agowithjust two clubs, I have fifty-five out there. Wehave threeparades a day. For the last threeyears, I'vehad the Indians on theground with me—whatever tribes Quint's having onstage. We started with theyounger brassbandsaround tenyears ago.The Dirty Dozen came out there. I had the Pinstripe, the Majestic with Flo, The New Wave Brass Band, the Original Thunderstorm (that's Eddie BoParish's band), theLil' Stooges. I'll take them, and the Hot 8 Brass Band, and I'llput them up against the Rebirth any day of the week. We got the Mahogany Brass Band, led by Brice Miller (he's my cousin). They were the original bandfor the Young Men Olympian. Then there's the New Birth band with Tanio. And the Storyville Stampers—that's a white band. The Chosen Few with Anthony Lacen. The Treme with BennyJones. SteveJohnson's Coolbone. The Pinettes, that's a girl band. Oh, man, they're good. Andyou got the Tornado Brass Band—that's Greg Norman Dixon Photo byBarry Martyn 181 Davis. There's still the Olympia, the Lil' Rascals, the Algiers. Altogether,I have seventeen bands to coordinate,but there's more than that. I do it becauseit'slike rheumatism or arthritis—it's in my bones.I been doing itso long. Right now, they're hooked on thefunk thing, because that's what the kids like to dance to, butpeople our ageare morefor the traditional. Anyhow, come down to theparade on Sunday. Getjour walking shoes on—jou're going to bewalking for four hours. Whenjouget out there Sunday,jou canget anything jou want to eat. Red beans, hot sausage—and a beer's only going to costjou a dollar. Smoked sausagesandwich, only three dollars. Thepolice will be in line before jou! l82 KEEPING THE BEAT ON THE STREET ...


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