Arts & Entertainment,
October 16th, 2012
The colorful and musical New Orleans neighborhood called Treme is marking the 200th anniversary of its origins as an early melting pot for the city and the nation.
Treme (truh-MAY) is considered one of America’s most unusual neighborhoods and holds significant place in the history of jazz. It is also getting some new energy thanks in part to the spotlight provided by the HBO series “Treme.”
“All the things sacred to New Orleans bubbled up from that neighborhood, because Treme had such a mixture of people and cultures,” said Toni Rice, a spokeswoman for one of the neighborhood groups organizing its bicentennial celebration. “It wasn’t just slaves. It wasn’t all white or all black. It was German, Spanish, Haitian, Italian.”
Born from the immigration that followed the Haitian revolution of the early 1800s and named for French milliner and property owner Claude Treme, the neighborhood became an entertainment center where white and black Creoles gathered.
The wave of Haitian refugees added to a New Orleans that was already a mix of French, Spanish and African-American culture, with American influence filtering in after the 1803 purchase of the territory from France. New Orleans was still largely confined to the French Quarter — the original city founded in 1718. Treme and other outlying neighborhoods were farms or swamps until efforts to drain the land took hold as the population grew.
Treme’ 200 Bicentennial Celebration with the Mahalia Jackson International ‘Rejoicin in the Park’ Festival
The Tremé 200 Bicentennial Celebration and the 25th Annual Mahalia Jackson “Rejoicin’ in the Park” Festival make up a weeklong celebration featuring a lecture series, evening concerts, a Club Crawl, the first ever United Second Line, a Gospel Jazz Mass, and community tributes to Rebirth Brass Band and the late “Uncle” Lionel. The festivities begin on October 17th, and finish out on the 21st with a jazz mass.