Author Burt Feintuch, director of Center for Humanities at the University of New Hampshire has teamed with photographer Gary Samson, chair of the photography department at New Hampshire Institute of Art to produce an elegant book about the contemporary music scene in New Orleans. They have interviewed eleven contemporary musicians to give a current perceptive view of the current status of New Orleans musical culture.
There are in-depth interviews with music leaders such as Dr. Michael White, clarinetist, culture historian and leader of the Original Liberty Jazz Band. Charmaine Neville, from that famous musical family, has eighteen pages, including photographs to tell about her experiences growing up in a musical family, the effects of Hurricane Katrina and her own musical career.
Other interviews and photos cover singer, guitarist and songwriter Wolfman Washington; Cajun singer, accordionist and composer Bruce Daigrepont; vocalist Irma Thomas; gospel singer and president of the Zion Harmonizers, (Mr.)Brazella Briscoe; vocalist John Boutte; tuba player Janine Waters and the all-woman Original Pirettes Brass Band.
Additionally interviewed are: Christie Jourdain, snare drummer and leader of the Original Pirettes Brass Band; singer, guitarist, entertainer Deacon John Moore and music producer, VP of A&R, Rounder Records.
Author Feintuch and photographer Samson are a polished team who are longtime collaborators. Obviously, they have perfected their skills and have produced an elegant book which is informative and entertaining. As someone who has lived in New Orleans and has watched the New Orleans music scene for almost a lifetime, I enjoyed learning new things from this talented team. The book should have wide appeal both as a coffee-table book for casual inspection and also as a resource for detail about the lives of these eleven celebrated musicians.