The New Saturday Night

There is this old joke about two musicians catching up on the latest news, and the conversation goes something like this: Musician One: Did you hear about Joe? He died! Musician Two: No! What did he have? Musician One: He had the ballet, and first call for all the Broadway shows, and a steady on Sundays at the jazz club and…. So when New York City drummer Giampaolo Biagi asked New Orleans pianist David Boeddinghaus “what he had,” David replied, “Well, on Sunday nights I have a gig at the Can Can with Chris Tyle’s band, Monday nights I’ve got a gig at Fritzel’s, Tuesdays and Wednesdays I’m at the Maison Bourbon with George Finola, and Thursdays and Fridays I have a double on the Steamboat Natchez during the day and the Palm Court at night. “And what about Saturday”? Giampaolo asked. “Oh, Saturdays I have off,” David told him. “You’re off?” Giampaolo asked surprisingly. “You’re OFF?” he repeated. “That’s the one day we all work!!!” That is the norm. If you only have one gig for the week, it will probably be on Saturday night. So now in the “new normal,” all musicians have Saturday nights off. When people outside of the Gulf Coast talk about the “new normal,” a slight smirk starts to take over my face. After dealing with Katrina, we can spout chapter and verse on the “new normal” down here. All I want to say is “we
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Banu Gibson, in addition to being a nonpareil entertainer specializing in the music of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, is Executive Director of the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp. Visit her online at

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