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Crescent City Stompers
New Orleans Jazz WILL Survive As Live Performance

In 1988 Norrie realized that both his predominantly white audience and fellow musicians were entering their twilight years and that for the N.O. style to survive in live performance would require committed youngsters to carry on the tradition. From the birth of jazz up through the 1920's youngsters in New Orleans learned in an apprentice like atmosphere. The older musicians passed on their craft and in many cases were later overshadowed by the prowess of their prodigies but as the N. O. style became passe in the thirties there were no young musicians interested in the style and for whatever reason even with it's rebirth in the 1940's it became the province of the " survivors " who gradually aged and died until today there are virtually no African American musicians carrying on the tradition. Dr. Michael White is a notable exception but the original N.O. style has become the world wide province of mainly middle class persons without an African heritage.

Norrie decided to produce a band of predominantly African American youngsters capable, and sounding authentic, enough to perform in New Orleans. It took a long ten years to achieve but in April of 1998 the teenage group played the opening set in historic Preservation Hall. His Post has been in continuous operation for 14 years and he has reached well over a hundred youngsters with 37 participating in the performance band and with three so far following musical careers. Happy parents report that their youngster's academic performance improved while in the Post but Norrie is disappointed that none of his young musicians who have left to start their journey through life have yet formed N.O. jazz bands of their own.

Now that he has put a lie to all the naysayers who predicted that he would never get African American teenagers interested he is actively seeking funding that will allow him to produce training materials so that other individuals, without his knowledge and expertise but with the desire, will be able to start groups of their own. Norrie would love to hear from anyone with such an interest and would be happy to share his experience of the joys and yes, the tribulations, of running a New Orleans jazz Explorer Post.


The Crescent City Stompers playing with Doc Severinsen.
 

Jamming at Jackson Square in New Orleans, 1998

Performing at Preservation Hall, 1998

The Crescent City Stompers playing at Fritzel's on Bourbon Street, 1998

Preparing to board the Natchez Steamboat, 1998
 

Reunion party in Milwaukee, August 2002.
 
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