"The Sidewalk Swing Band" on Royal Street: A Satchmo Warmup
Thursday afternoon, August 3, 2017, French Quarter, New Orleans
One of the most popular corner for street buskers to play, corner of Royal and St Peter. It's the permanent spot for the iconic Doreen Ketchens, whose camp chairs are stacked on the side of Rouse's Market. "Little Miss Liza" is a staple of swing and brass bands all over town. My singing on the video will not get me invited to sing along with the band anytime soon. The enthusiastic fellow in the black cap and New Orleans T shirt (clapping along at around the 4:45 mark and throughout) will become a self-appointed vocalist for the next song. Things like this happen in New Orleans, where from time to time it seems like music is the glue that holds the city together.
A man from the streets named Rodney, who's been dancing along with the music, steps up to render his impromptu version of "What A Wonderful World," at the 1:28 mark a band member shouts out, "Sing it..." in acknowledgment. The spirit of Louis Armstrong still casts an upbeat life enriching shadow over many parts of this city, especially the French Quarter.
Video by Paul A.Tamburello, Jr.