Getting the Party Started

Hello again, everyone, it’s Jonatan Sanabria. Today I’ll be sharing what my project is and why I am interning in New Orleans, Louisiana. To start off, I am working at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park (JAZZ) as part of the LHIP group. The whole point of me being chosen to be here is to help the park get started on Latino Heritage Week.

What does that entail? Well it means that a festival will happen here that will include many events. These events are deeply tied to the Hispanic influences here in JAZZ. The events I will help plan are musical events, dances and foods, and whatever else will get people to come and enjoy the Hispanic cultures here in the park.

Why is the Hispanic week so important? Well from what I learned it’s important to these areas because there are so many historical ties between many cultures here–from creole, African, and French, to Caribbean and many others. The ties led to many influences that created what we all know as Jazz. When you’re in New Orleans you will hear an insane amount of music, but every single time you hear music it will be different even if it’s the same song. Why is it different? Well, it’s because the cultures meshed to create many different rhythms and feelings to music. A simple explanation would be the simple rhythm of clapping. Hold up your hands and clap 1 2 3 pause, then 1 2. That’s a simple yet powerful rhythm that you will hear here. So how does the same song always sound different? Well, the many styles influence how you play, but you also improvise depending on how you feel and how the song you created sets the tone.

As for the dances, they are crucial as well. Many of the Hispanic music you hear here is meant for you to dance to, and even normal jazz makes you want to swing. So dance has a big tie to how people appreciate the history of music and dance. Of course, since it’s this important we want to add dance to the Latino Heritage week, to show everyone the amazing power that music and dance had on our cultures.

Finally the food, how can we not add that to this event. Food serves as one of the best audience captivators because the different types of food are so vastly different, with a crazy variety of flavors. If you miss out on the dance and music, but come to appreciate the food, we still win. Learning about the foods is integral to understanding cultures because all these cultures have their staple foods that they eat in their motherland.

I will also be looking at the budget and seeing what we can fit in for that day. And I will talk to many different influential people of this city to get things going. One group is the Que Pasa organization that is influential here in JAZZ. I will also work with the people in the French Quarter to help maintain everything.

Once again thank you for stopping on by and reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it and more will come in the future.

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