Curated by
The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation

Jazz A La Creole: Seventh Ward Tour

This tour of the Seventh Ward includes several society halls–the headquarters of benevolent societies that, in the early 1900s, served as dance halls for the first bands to play jazz. Francs Amis Hall, Jeunes Amis/Equity Hall, and the Perseverance Society Hall now house churches; The Autocrat Club continues to host concerts.

In addition to the society halls, Jelly Roll Morton’s house and the Sidney Bechet mural gesture toward the community of Creole musicians that thrived in the neighborhood in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it shaped the sound of early jazz.

Other sites are clustered on North Claiborne Avenue, the main commercial thoroughfare of downtown Black New Orleans in the R&B era. These include Houston’s School of Music and the Specialty Records branch office, as well as later additions like Hunter’s Field, Ernie K-Doe’s Mother-in-Law Lounge, and a mural of Allen Toussaint.

Danny Barker and Blue Lu Barker’s house and Leroy Jones’ garage, two sites that were crucial to the brass band revival of the 1970s, are near the former St. Bernard Public Housing Development.

Picturesque St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 and the former site of Seafood City, an unlikely base for early funk recordings, can be found near The Fair Grounds, home of Jazz Fest for the last half century.

A mural of rapper 5th Ward Weebie is steps from Frenchmen Street, the Seventh Ward’s best-known destination for live music today.

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Culture bearer and Seventh Ward native Fred Johnson discusses cultural transmission in New Orleans.

"Hard Head History: The 7th Ward Story," a 30-minute documentary by Newtral Groundz from 2020 featuring Mia X, Mannie Fresh, and Young Greatness.