Curated by
The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation

Bout It Bout It: Central City Tour

Central City doesn’t always get the attention lavished on New Orleans’ downtown neighborhoods, but it boasts cultural landmarks of national and international significance–a comparable roster of sites would make the reputation of other cities.

Residences range from the historic wood-frame houses of early jazz pioneers Charles “Buddy” Bolden, Joe “King” Oliver, and Edward “Kid” Ory to the sites of sprawling public housing developments–the Magnolia and the Calliope–that produced generations of A-list music stars from the Neville Brothers to Master P.

Venues include the sites of small neighborhood bars like Newton’s, the H&R Bar, and the Glass House, where rhythms long played on the street found their way into nightclub acts and recordings, giving rise to new styles of vernacular music.

Under segregation in the mid-20th century, Black audiences were denied entry to most concert halls but could see some of the most venerable artists in the country at the Booker T. Washington High School auditorium. The renowned Dew Drop Inn emerged in the same era as a vital community hub and marquis stop on the Chitlin Circuit. In the post-Civil Rights era, concerts at Mason’s Las Vegas Strip and I.L.A. Hall continued the tradition.

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