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Bringing Jazz back to Bourbon Street and a post-Katrina audience

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By Mary LaCoste, Contributing Writer, The Louisiana Weekly
November 7, 2005

The lights were bright on the stage of the Maison Bourbon Jazz Club as Jamil Sharif and his musicians made their first appearance since Katrina had darkened the club. There were only four patrons; waiting and wondering how would the music sound after so many weeks in exile. But when the notes of "Do you know What It Means to Miss New Orleans" filled the air all doubts were dispelled.

Attracted by the hauntingly beautiful music, more and more people began to wander in. They were not the usual tourists as New Orleans has yet to recover enough to attract them. Instead they were an assortment of relief workers, insurance adjusters and laborers taking a break from recovery efforts. For many, it was the first time they had ever been exposed to a live performance of New Orleans-style music.

Sharif and his band members put all of their energy and talent into their music that night. "St. James Infirmary" and "The Sunny Side of the Street," mesmerized all as band members, as well as the audience, were caught up in the spirit of old style Jazz. ... [MORE]



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