This essay offers preliminary thoughts on the role of music in the reconstruction of New Orleans. Focusing on Jazzfest and second-line performances, it addresses thorny issues that have emerged when jazz, in particular, has been deployed to rebuild the city, given the competing claims on culture and place, the racial and class divisions in play before and after the storm, the ways that local musical cultures have reflected social possibilities and social exclusions, and the complexities that emerge when the cultural practices of the past and present collide in the context of disaster. Although the story of jazz and revival is still unfolding, the article investigates the ways interracial musical exchanges and collective consumptive acts might encourage reconstruction for all New Orleanians, while also keeping in mind how these exchanges have and may continue to facilitate claims on the city that rely on and reproduce social distance.


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pp. 593-613
Launched on MUSE
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