HBO's Treme debuted in April 2010, as I was starting to shape the Rock Hall's American Music Masters tribute to Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. As a fan of New Orleans music and David Simon's work on The Wire, I looked forward to the show but was skeptical that it could represent the music accurately. I was blown away by how Simon made music part of the show's very narrative. Simon recruited some of the most important musicians in the city to play themselves, like Uncle Lionel Batiste of the Treme Brass Band, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins, and one of our AMM honorees, Dave Bartholomew. I was so impressed with what Simon created that I wanted it to be part of our project-- a contemporary, compelling depiction of the city post-Katrina, and as good an argument as there is for the power and longevity of New Orleans music.
Wendell Pierce, who stars in Treme as trumpet player Antoine Batiste, will be the emcee for our tribute concert on November 13th at the Palace Theatre. Wendell, a New Orleans native and current resident, has been a devoted activist in the rebuilding of the city since Katrina. Click here to see as he takes you to Congo Square in the city's Treme neighborhood and talks about how New Orleans music and culture developed.
Because of the shooting schedule for the second season of the show, David Simon will not be able to join us next week. But on Tuesday, November 9th, we will screen a special set of musical performances from the show by Dave Bartholomew and Irma Thomas, Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, and Kermit Ruffins, among others. The film will be introduced by David Simon, especially for American Music Masters. The event is free with a reservation, so come check it out!