There's an article in Reuters about the devastating effect of Katrina on the vibrant New Orleans music tradition.
"Katrina not only felled a city: it stopped the music.
While the human toll of Hurricane Katrina defies imagination, New Orleans is also reeling from a cultural loss from which it might not recover.
The city is home to a rich, thick musical gumbo of styles from rhythm and blues to zydeco and the birthplace of jazz, the American music that started in the brothels of the city's Storyville section and spread around the world.
Now streets where jazz funerals would parade past and where smoky clubs would jam through the night are under water.
Many wonder whether the great musical tradition forged by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair and the Neville Brothers has been drowned by the savagery of Katrina....
"New Orleans was a cultural phenomenon that created the birth of jazz -- the first, great unique American art form," said Shelton Berg, professor of jazz studies at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
"So anything that wipes out something that defines a unique part of the American existence is a side tragedy," Berg said....You're wiping from the earth the cradle of a culture," he said.
Although there is some debate, many historians believe jazz emerged in New Orleans not far from the French Quarter in the city's Treme district, which includes Storyville, after the end of the Civil War when former slaves started arriving in the city in late 1800s.
"I've heard the whole area of Treme's underwater. It's such a loss. It's one of the most culturally significant neighborhoods, the cradle of jazz," said Michael Murphy, a New Orleans filmmaker whose documentary, "Make It Funky," chronicles the evolution and influence of black music from its roots in New Orleans....
Some believe jazz was first commercialized in the raucous Storyville section of Treme in the late 1890s when it boasted many 24-hour bordellos. "The music was born on the pianos of the front parlor of the brothels," said Los Angeles-based comedian Harry Shearer, who has strong ties to New Orleans. Band leaders and composers of that time, Buddy Bolden, King Oliver, Sidney Bechet, and "Jelly Roll" Morton, soon became the larger-than-life founders of Jazz. The Marsalis Family, Harry Connick Jr., the Neville Brothers, and Fats Domino have continued the tradition of keeping music and jazz in the vanguard of New Orleans culture at various clubs around the city."
The entire article can be read here.