New Orleans must be experienced, as well as studied in the context of scholarly investigation, so we will visit sites across the city that explore the chronological development of musical forms in light of their historical contexts. An inquiry-driven model of instruction will utilize essential questions to guide us through scholarly presentations, performances, and research opportunities. You will have a chance to interview culture bearers, listen to musical recordings and oral histories, and view photographs and artifacts. The workshop also includes time for individual reflection and group discussion, as well as experiential activities that will engage you from a “first-learner” perspective. While developing an individual project to take back to your classroom, you will craft your own investigation of New Orleans music and gather research and resources relevant to your curriculum and students.

Congo Square
Bamboula 2000

Young Men Olympian Benevolent Association, Dryades Street and Jackson Avenue
Mahogany Brass Band

Tremé and the Claiborne Corridor Walking Tour
Cultural Leader Anthony Bennett

Preservation Hall
World-famous musicians of Preservation Hall

Landmark Sites & Visiting Artists
Schedule & Activities

Below is an outline of the program of study and a tentative schedule for workshop activities. Please note that some elements are subject to change. With a faculty of over 25 scholars and artists, some slight adjustments may be necessary!

View a graphic representation of workshop activities here.


Evening: Welcome Dinner


Guiding Questions:

  • What is the historical and cultural context of the confluence of African, European and Caribbean cultures in New Orleans?
  • How have people of color in the city created unique musical forms as a response to systemic oppression?
  • How has this “musical resistance” manifested in Congo Square and its traditions?

Morning Sessions:

  • Workshop Framing: Contextualizing New Orleans
  • Site Visit: Congo Square
    Experiencing History, Engaging in Performance
    Presenter: Freddi Williams Evans
    Performance: Luther Gray and Bamboula 2000

Afternoon Sessions:

  • Lecture and Author Interview: The Significance of Congo Square: New Orleans and Beyond
    Presenter: Freddi Williams Evans
  • Model Investigation: Using Images, Sound Recording, Movement and Spoken Word to Explore Congo Square
    Presenter: Co-Director Sonya Robinson
  • Lecture and Q&A: Complexities of New Orleans in the Era of Slavery
    Presenter: Emily Clark, PhD
  • Individual Projects: Group Discussion: Generating Ideas for Individual Projects


Guiding Questions:

  • How have musicians in New Orleans cultural communities, now often referred to as “culture/tradition bearers,” interacted with the community over time? 
  • How have these artists strengthened, reflected and perpetuated their community identities, often in the in the face of inequity and prejudice?

Morning Session:

  • Hogan Jazz Archive Research Rotation
    Overview: Bruce Raeburn, PhD

    • Station One – Utilizing Physical Artifacts & Resources in the Archive
    • Station Two – Oral Histories & Photography: Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs and the Jazz Funeral
    • Station Three – Reading Discussion: Talk that Music Talk

Afternoon Sessions:

  • Lecture and Q&A: Struggles of Reconstruction, Segregation, and Jim Crow in New Orleans
    Presenter: Nikki Lynne Marie Brown, PhD
  • Site Visit: TBD

Evening: Dinner & Dialogue Around Film: All on a Mardi Gras Day at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center


Guiding Questions:

  • How does the trajectory of civil and human rights in 20th Century New Orleans relate to the arc of civil and human rights in the United States?
  • What is the relationship between the development of musical forms and the civil and human rights of people of color in New Orleans?

Morning Sessions:

  • Lecture and Q&A: Civil and Human Rights in 20th Century New Orleans
    Presenter: Nikki Lynne Marie Brown, PhD
  • Site Visit: Tremé & the Claiborne Corridor Walking Tour

Afternoon Sessions:

  • Film: Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans
  • Lecture and Q&A: Development of New Orleans Music: From Congo Square to Present Day
    Presenter: Matt Sakakeeny, PhD
  • Individual Projects: Curating Resources and Expanding Plans
    Coaches: Workshop Co-Director Sonya Robinson & Tulane Teacher Preparation & Certification Program (TPCP) Faculty (Maria DeLouise, PhD & Brooke Grant, PhD)
  • Model Investigation: Sparking Curiosity Around the Emergence of Jazz
    Presenter: Co-Director Sonya Robinson


Guiding Questions:

  • What is the role of a convergence of Transatlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf systems in the emergence of Jazz?
  • How did musicians develop strategies for navigating and addressing inequity faced through multiple constructs: race, gender, issues of youth/age, and urban/rural exchange?

Morning Sessions:

  • Lecture and Q&A: Origins and Influence: How Did Multiple Influences Shape Jazz in New Orleans, and How Has Jazz Shaped American Music?
    Presenter: Bruce Raeburn, PhD
  • Individual Projects: Project Mapping
    Coaches: Workshop Co-Director Sonya Robinson & Tulane Teacher Preparation & Certification Program (TPCP) Faculty (Maria DeLouise, PhD & Brooke Grant, PhD)
  • Lecture and Discussion: Gender in Jazz
    Presenter: Courtney Bryan, PhD

Afternoon Sessions:

  • Individual Projects: Lesson Design or Other Classroom Application
    Coaches: Workshop Co-Director Sonya Robinson & Tulane Teacher Preparation & Certification Program (TPCP) Faculty (Maria DeLouise, PhD & Brooke Grant, PhD)
  • Site Visit: Preservation Hall
    Authenticity, Commodity and Economy in America’s Art Form
    Performance and Interview Session: Preservation Hall Brass Band

Evening: Optional Planning: Group Presentation Preparation


Guiding Questions:

  • How does New Orleans support its musical traditions and foster new development today?
    • What drives the continuance of New Orleans musical traditions?
    • How do social, political, and economic forces both hinder and perpetuate music performed in New Orleans today?
    • What are the ramifications for its further development? 

Morning Sessions:

  • Individual Projects: Group Presentation Run-through
  • Panel and Q&A: Contemporary New Orleans Music: How does New Orleans Support Its Musical Traditions and Foster New Development Today?
    Panelists: Christian Scott and Courtney Bryan
    (may be joined by Ben Ellman and Shamarr Allen)
    Moderator: Matt Sakakeeny, PhD

Afternoon Sessions:

  • Individual Projects: Group Presentations
  • Overall Reflections and Adjourn

Evening: Optional Outing TBD


Please watch this space for workshop assignments.