jazz trumpeter and artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at Loyola University, won the 2008 Grammy Award for best album by a large jazz ensemble for his composition, A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina). Blanchard originally composed part of the work for Spike Lee's documentary, When the Levees Broke. The piece is one of the most emotionally evocative artworks inspired by the storm and failure of the levees.
a music teacher at public charter school Kipp McDonogh 15, has been selected by a nonprofit organization that supports school music education programs as one of five teachers nationwide to receive the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation Award. Harrison received $10,000 as part of the award, and later this spring he will be honored at a ceremony at Carnegie Hall. The organization also donated $20,000 worth of musical instruments to the school.
an associate professor of history at Tulane University, recently was awarded the Wesley-Logan Prize in African Diaspora History for her book, New Negroes From Africa. The book focuses on a group of 15,000 Africans who were freed from slave ships by the British after the abolition of the slave trade. The majority of the 150,000 Africans rescued by the British returned to Africa, but 10 percent ended up settling in the Caribbean British colonies.
a former Kenner city councilman, was sentenced to a year and a day in jail after being convicted of 13 counts of mail fraud in U.S. District Court in Maryland. Baroni and his son Keith pleaded guilty in October to overcharging the U.S. Navy for more than 2,200 hours of work as part of a computer services contract. Baroni was given the prison time despite numerous letters, many from Louisiana politicians, sent to the court on his behalf.