In this episode of Confetti Park, we hear a childhood music memory from New Orleans-born trumpet player Andrew Baham.
Andrew has been playing the trumpet since the age of 11 years old. He studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and under the tutelage of players such as Ronald Benko, Clyde Kerr, Jr., and Nicholas Payton.
In this memory, Andrew reflects on his early exposure to some of the great players of early jazz, such as the Olympia Brass Band. Says Andrew: "As a young kid I had the privilege to watch some of the older guys, and one of my most fond memories is watching Papa and “Duke” Dejan play."
Certainly, the early influence of that traditional brass sound shaped Andrews's musical approach. Widely respected as a player, Andrew can be found performing with contemporary New Orleans bands such as Big Sam's Funky Nation, Soul Rebels Brass Band, and Lil' Stooges Brass Band. He has even performed with Mystikal and Mannie Fresh. But Andrew feels right at home among the old-timer players of traditional New Orleans jazz, and can be found sharing the stage with the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band. Full Biography
Check out Andrew's own "Andrew Baham Quintet" and visit Andrew's SoundCloud channel to hear the diversity of sounds he creates. https://soundcloud.com/daphessah/sets
South Louisiana children’s author Tommie Townsley narrates the story of Dixie the Old Dog for Confetti Park!
Dixie The Ole Dawg is a true classic country “Cajun Tale” set in Southwest Louisiana. This inspiring tale is about a dog who was abandoned by her family during a hurricane. After the storm, she finds her way to Ms. Theriot’s house. It is there that the two of them build a trustworthy relationship. Dixie finds out what it feels like to be left alone with no one to care for her. However, she also realizes that sometimes you do have to go through a storm in order to find happiness! Both children and adults will enjoy this true story. It is full of love, friendship, trust, and affection. It you love dogs, you will love Dixie! Always remember, “Dogs are a man’s best friend!”
Tommie, who lives in Lake Charles, is a great friend to Confetti Park and a leader in the children’s art and culture scene in Louisiana. She has inspired kids around the state with her charming Cajun animal tales. Learn more about Tommie in this interview with Confetti Park.
Doctor Sick, who might have once been called an itinerant traveling musician, is today a fixture in the New Orleans music scene. A “musical jack of all trades,” Doctor Sick is a virtuoso musician who sings and plays stringed instruments of all kinds. He’s also a whimsical, colorful songwriter and a witty director and producer of burlesque and other theatrical novelty shows. These days, catch Doctor Sick around New Orleans in one of many diverse projects such as the Rotten Cores, the Salt Wives, Valparaiso Men’s Chorus, and numerous burlesque companies.
Adding to his illustrious resume, Doctor Sick also play kids music! He wrote songs and performed on the Austin, Texas-based Asylum Street Spankers’ children’s CD Mommy Says No!. And New Orleans’ own Confetti Park Players were delighted to have Doctor Sick as a featured artist on their first CD, We’re Going to Confetti Park! You can hear his mysterious musical saw and soulful fiddle playing on songs “Feufollet,” “Polly Wolly Wee,” “Watch Out for the Pirates,” and “Louis Lafitte, the Pirate King.”
In this music memory shared with Confetti Park, Doctor Sick shares how his parents recognized his talent and set him on the path to music.
“I’ve been playing violin since I was four years old,” says Doctor Sick. “When I was very young I was taking lessons all the time. My parents made me, but I thank them for it today, because music is such an important part of my every day life.”
Doctor Sick describes a sweet memory of singing along while his grandmother played piano, when he was only two or three—they were jamming on the alphabet song.
“Before I even knew my ABCs I was trying to sing along,” he recalls. “It was the first time I ever jammed with anybody, where you’re listening and contributing and making the music with somebody else. And that’s why my parents got me into playing music, because they realized that I was going to be playing music for the rest of my life anyway.”
Children’s author, actress, and musician just scratches the surface of the roles and capabilities owned by Melinda Taliancich Falgoust of Metairie, La., as Katy Ray discovers in this interview on Confetti Park.
Melinda, who has published several award-winning children’s books including Lousy Liver, Footprints, and her newest, Her Royal Majesty, the Superhero Bride of Frankenstein (which just earned a 5-star review withReader’s Favorite), wears many hats. The navy veteran holds several jobs (including paralegal and school worker) and is a wife and mother to five kids. She also acts with the Porta-Puppet Players, a troupe of puppeteers, theatre actors and other entertainers that has been active in the Gulf South for decades. (Watch Melinda as Mother Goose on YouTube)
In addition to all this, Melinda writes—prolifically—and spends a significant amount of time on the road traveling to make appearances at book festivals, conventions, and in school visits. Melinda writes for adults and middle-grade readers (see The Gubbins Club), and her works have also won awards in competitions around the world. But it seems writing—and illustrating—books for young children is where she has the most fun.
“I have wanted to be a writer since I was twelve years old,” says Melinda. “I finally decided several years ago that it was time to dig in and get deep with it. So I pulled out the sketchbook, I pulled out the laptop, and started putting all those ideas that have been bubbling over the years right onto paper.”
Lack of sleep notwithstanding, Melinda has found a happy place in children’s literature: “I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, and I realized, that, really, writing in the genre that I write, I don’t need to grow up!”