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Jim Hayes and Collins Lewis Interview, Part 2
Hayes, Jim; Lewis, Collins
Cramer, Cheryl Q.W.
Topics include: keeping history of neighborhood alive, culture in bars, influence of gentrification, historic preservation, next generation
Lewis and Hayes discuss the next generation of second-liners and bands. They say that some could not even play a note but they got the instruments together nevertheless and played. They gradually improved, and they say that music was everything they ever wanted. It was very rare for someone to not want to carry on the tradition of music. Music in Tremé was spiritual and uplifting, and if that culture is taken away from them they won't have anything left. Lewis and Hayes also discuss that more and more whites were moving into the neighborhood and they only went to certain clubs. They say that the music, the food, and the bar all went together, and it was a wonder how these businesses stayed economically stable. Visitors didn't have to pay for the food -- they would give out red beans and crawfish for free, and charge very little for alcohol. This was apparently shocking for whites. Lewis and Hayes mention that whenever they brought someone from out of town there for the first time, their minds were blown away and they would have a fun time. They mention problems they had during Jazz Festival when people would leave the festival and then come into Tremé and change the dynamic. One of them says that anytime someone calls music "noise", there is something wrong with them. This is an indication of just how important music was in the Tremé area. They mention one white couple who says that they love the neighborhood how it is and are not the enemy. They also mention how the gay community desperately wants a bar in Tremé. I conclusion, Lewis and Hayes say that they need to leave as much history in the community as possible for preservation of the Tremé culture.
Bars (Drinking establishments)MusicGentrificationHistoric preservationNeighborhoods
Amistad Research Center; Tulane University Digital Library
Box 1, Item 4, Side 2, Treme Oral History Project collection, 1993-1994, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. Copyright laws.