Photograph by Jonathan Bachman
I moved to New Orleans in late August 2007, two years after Katrina and while the city was still very much in recovery mode. Two years later and I can't imagine living anywhere else (I can confidently say I'm not alone in this sentiment). Every year, the anniversary of me moving to New Orleans (I arrived on the 25th) coincides with the Katrina anniversary and, as I found out last night, the forming of the Free Agents Brass Band.
For those of you who don't know, Free Agents formed in 2006 by Ellis Joseph and a cast of musicians that had spent their lives playing in brass bands but had none to call their own after the storm. These guys, like every brass band I've come across, have deep-rooted civic pride and play to it in their music. Their set last night at the Howling Wolf ended with a rendition of "Wade in the Water", a moving tribute to the resiliency and spirit of this city.
Only in New Orleans can such a somber memory be a cause for a party. Laissez le bon temps roulez.