New Orleans’ Treme’ neighborhood was a haven for free people of color, Haitian immigrants, and white New Orleanians since the end of the 18th century. The racially mixed neighborhood, situated on the north (lake) side of the French Quarter, was bounded by Rampart Street on the south, Canal Street to the west, Esplanade on the east, and Broad Street on the north. Before there was “Treme’,” the HBO television series set in post-Katrina New Orleans and celebrating the food and music of New Orleans, there was Treme’, a vibrant and intellectually advanced community where Creole artists, musicians, tradespeople, and writers spoke French and congregated in Congo Square, now Louis Armstrong Park. This is where jazz began, folks. In recent times, the neighborhood contributed to New Orleans jazz by producing Kermit Ruffins, the drummer Shannon Powell, and the Treme’ Brass Band, who still perform at clubs in the area.
In one glorious day, you can experience the best, authentic food and music New Orleans has to offer, in the place where it all began. On Saturday, December 10, 2011, from 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM, modern day New Orleans visitors and residents can celebrate at the Treme’ Creole Gumbo Festival. The festival is sponsored by The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc., and takes place at The Jazz & Heritage Center at 1225 N. Rampart St., in the historic Treme’. Admission is free. There’ll be gumbo sold by some of the city’s best restaurants, excellent craft vendors (The Jazz & Heritage Holiday Bazaar takes place at the same time), and, of course, terrific music. The Treme Brass Band starts off the proceedings at 11:00 AM, and concludes with the Rebirth Brass Band playing at 4:30. The Rebirth Brass Band was formed at Clark Senior High School in the heart of Treme’. These guys go all over the world, spreading the New Orleans brass band parade sound.
So come early, enjoy the food and music, and get down –down in the Treme’!