George Lewis (clarinetist)
George Lewis was an American jazz clarinetist who achieved his greatest fame and influence in the decades of his life. Lewis was born in the French Quarter of Louisiana. Through his mother, Alice Zeno, his maternal great-great-grandmother was a Senegalese slave, brought to Louisiana around 1803. Zeno's family retained some knowledge of Senegalese language and customs until Alice's generation. During the 1920s he started the New Orleans Stompers. In that decade he worked with Chris Kelly, Buddy Petit, Kid Rena, was a member of the Eureka Brass Band and the Olympia Orchestra. In the 1930s he played with Bunk Johnson, De De Pierce, Billie Pierce, he recorded with Johnson with Kid Shots Madison. Alan Lomax brought Lewis on a Rudi Blesh radio show in 1942 in which Lewis played "Woodchopper's Ball" by Woody Herman. Unable to make enough money as a musician, he worked loading and unloading cargo on ships at the docks of the Mississippi River. In 1944 Lewis was injured while working on the docks. A heavy container nearly crushed his chest.
He practiced. His friends, banjoist Lawrence Marrero and double bassist Alcide Pavageau, brought their instruments to his bedside. Bill Russell brought his portable recorder and they recorded "Burgundy Street Blues", improvised blues song, to become the Lewis signature piece; as Russell recorded Lewis, he gave new titles to interpretations of pop tunes, such as "New Orleans Hula" for "Hula Lou". These changes may have been made for copyright reasons, but it was because musicians reported the titles inaccurately to Russell. Lewis stayed with Johnson's band through 1946; this included a trip to New York City, where they played for dancing at the Stuyvesant Casino on Second Avenue. Band members included Johnson, Pavageau, trombonist Jim Robinson, pianist Alton Purnell, drummer Baby Dodds. While in New York, they recorded for Victor. After Johnson retired, Lewis took over leadership of the band, which included Robinson, Marrero, Joe Watkins, a succession of New Orleans trumpeters: Elmer Talbert, Kid Howard, Percy Humphrey.
Starting in 1949, Lewis was a regular on Bourbon Street clubs and radio station WDSU. His band was profiled in the June 6, 1950 issue of Look magazine with photographs by Stanley Kubrick, his reputation grew and he became a leader of the New Orleans revival. In the late 1940s and early 1950s his recordings reached the UK and influenced clarinetists Monty Sunshine and Acker Bilk, they became important contributors to the traditional jazz scene in the UK and accompanied Lewis when he toured the country. Lewis visited England in 1957. In 1959 he returned, this time with his full band, received a warm response. In 1959 he played at Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen. Beginning in the 1960s, he played at Preservation Hall as leader of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band until shortly before his death, his performances were painted by New Orleans artists. Sitting portraits by Noel Rockmore were sold to collectors. Rockwell painted several musicians. John Van Beuren bought portraits, his home in Morristown, New Jersey, built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe had portraits of George Lewis and Louis Nelson.
Jazz critic Gary Giddins described Lewis as "an affecting musician with a fat-boned sound but limited technique". American Music New Orleans Jazz Band and Quartet Jazz in the Classic New Orleans Tradition George Lewis & Turk Murphy at Newport The Perennial George Lewis Jazz at Preservation Hall 4: The George Lewis Band of New Orleans George Lewis Plays Hymns With Papa Blue's Viking Jazz Band Hot Creole Jazz 1953 Jazz at Vespers George Lewis with Red Allen In Stockholm For Dancer's Only Jazz at the Ohio Union The Beverly Caverns Sessions George Lewis of New Orleans Jazz Funeral in New Orleans Reunion At Congo Square George Lewis in Hi-Fi Bethell, Tom. George Lewis: A Jazzman from New Orleans, University of California Press, 1977, ISBN 978-0-520-03212-5 Fairburn, Ann. Call Him George: A Biography of George Lewis, The Man, His Faith and His Music, Crown Publishers, 1969. Library of Congress # 73-93389 Sancton, Tom. Song for My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and White, Other Press, 2006, ISBN 978-1-59051-376-7 Media related to George Lewis at Wikimedia Commons
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans
Esplanade Avenue is a historic street in New Orleans, Louisiana. It runs northwest from the Mississippi River to Beauregard Circle at the entrance to City Park. Esplanade Avenue was an important 18th-century portage route of trade between Bayou St. John, which linked to Lake Pontchartrain, the River. Many 19th-century mansions still line the street. Esplanade Avenue is the dividing line between the 7th Wards of the city. From the River to Claiborne Avenue, Esplanade has one lane of traffic in both directions, with a raised neutral ground in the center. From Claiborne to Carrollton Avenue it has one traffic lane in each direction, a dedicated bicycle lane, a smaller neutral ground; the segment from the River to Rampart Street separates the French Quarter from the Faubourg Marigny. Near the river on the French Quarter side is the old New Orleans Mint building. Passing by the Faubourg Treme neighborhood, Esplanade goes through the area known alternatively as Faubourg St. John or Esplanade Ridge, near the New Orleans Fairgrounds.
The house where Edgar Degas stayed during his time in New Orleans is in this section. Just past Carrollton Avenue is the entrance to the New Orleans Museum of Art. New Orleans Mint Buildings and architecture of New Orleans List of streets of New Orleans General Beauregard Equestrian Statue, until 2017 located in Beauregard Circle Media related to Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans at Wikimedia Commons Mary Louise Christovich. New Orleans Architecture: The Esplanade Ridge. New Orleans Architecture. 5. Pelican Publishing. ISBN 978-1-56554-072-9
Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression, it emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes and response vocals and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms"; as jazz spread around the world, it drew on national and local musical cultures, which gave rise to different styles. New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass-band marches, French quadrilles, biguine and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation.
In the 1930s arranged dance-oriented swing big bands, Kansas City jazz, a hard-swinging, improvisational style and Gypsy jazz were the prominent styles. Bebop emerged in the 1940s, shifting jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging "musician's music", played at faster tempos and used more chord-based improvisation. Cool jazz developed near the end of the 1940s, introducing calmer, smoother sounds and long, linear melodic lines; the 1950s saw the emergence of free jazz, which explored playing without regular meter and formal structures, in the mid-1950s, hard bop emerged, which introduced influences from rhythm and blues and blues in the saxophone and piano playing. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, using the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and improvisation. Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music's rhythms, electric instruments, amplified stage sound. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called smooth jazz became successful, garnering significant radio airplay.
Other styles and genres abound in the 2000s, such as Afro-Cuban jazz. The origin of the word "jazz" has resulted in considerable research, its history is well documented, it is believed to be related to "jasm", a slang term dating back to 1860 meaning "pep, energy". The earliest written record of the word is in a 1912 article in the Los Angeles Times in which a minor league baseball pitcher described a pitch which he called a "jazz ball" "because it wobbles and you can't do anything with it"; the use of the word in a musical context was documented as early as 1915 in the Chicago Daily Tribune. Its first documented use in a musical context in New Orleans was in a November 14, 1916 Times-Picayune article about "jas bands". In an interview with NPR, musician Eubie Blake offered his recollections of the slang connotations of the term, saying, "When Broadway picked it up, they called it'J-A-Z-Z', it wasn't called that. It was spelled'J-A-S-S'; that was dirty, if you knew what it was, you wouldn't say it in front of ladies."
The American Dialect Society named it the Word of the Twentieth Century. Jazz is difficult to define because it encompasses a wide range of music spanning a period of over 100 years, from ragtime to the rock-infused fusion. Attempts have been made to define jazz from the perspective of other musical traditions, such as European music history or African music, but critic Joachim-Ernst Berendt argues that its terms of reference and its definition should be broader, defining jazz as a "form of art music which originated in the United States through the confrontation of the Negro with European music" and arguing that it differs from European music in that jazz has a "special relationship to time defined as'swing'". Jazz involves "a spontaneity and vitality of musical production in which improvisation plays a role" and contains a "sonority and manner of phrasing which mirror the individuality of the performing jazz musician". In the opinion of Robert Christgau, "most of us would say that inventing meaning while letting loose is the essence and promise of jazz".
A broader definition that encompasses different eras of jazz has been proposed by Travis Jackson: "it is music that includes qualities such as swing, group interaction, developing an'individual voice', being open to different musical possibilities". Krin Gibbard argued that "jazz is a construct" which designates "a number of musics with enough in common to be understood as part of a coherent tradition". In contrast to commentators who have argued for excluding types of jazz, musicians are sometimes reluctant to define the music they play. Duke Ellington, one of jazz's most famous figures, said, "It's all music." Although jazz is considered difficult to define, in part because it contains many subgenres, improvisation is one of its defining elements. The centrality of improvisation is attributed to the influence of earlier forms of music such as blues, a form of folk music which arose in part from the work songs and field hollers of African-American slaves on plantations; these work songs were structured around a repetitive call-and-response pattern, but early blues was improvisational.
Classical music performance is evaluated more by its fidelity to the musical score, with less attention given to interpretation and accompaniment. The classical performer's goal is to play the composition. In contrast, jazz is characterized by the product of i
Daniel Moses Barker was an American jazz musician and author from New Orleans. He was a rhythm guitarist for various bands of the day, including Cab Calloway, Lucky Millinder and Benny Carter throughout the 1930s. One of Barker's earliest teachers in New Orleans was fellow banjoist Emanuel Sayles, with whom he recorded. Throughout his career, he played with Jelly Roll Morton, Baby Dodds, James P. Johnson, Sidney Bechet, Mezz Mezzrow, Red Allen, he toured and recorded with his wife, singer Blue Lu Barker. From the 1960s, Barker's work with the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band was pivotal in ensuring the longevity of jazz in New Orleans, producing generations of new talent, including Wynton and Branford Marsalis who played in the band as youths. Danny Barker was born to a family of musicians in New Orleans in 1909, the grandson of bandleader Isidore Barbarin and nephew of drummers Paul Barbarin and Louis Barbarin, he took up clarinet and drums before switching to a ukulele that his aunt got him, a banjo from his uncle or a trumpeter named Lee Collins.
Barker began his career as a musician in his youth with his streetband the Boozan Kings, toured Mississippi with Little Brother Montgomery. In 1930 he switched to the guitar. On the day of his arrival in New York, his uncle Paul took him to the Rhythm Club, where he saw an inspiring performance by McKinney's Cotton Pickers, it was their first performance in New York as a band. Barker played with several acts when he moved to New York, including Fess Williams, Billy Fowler and the White Brothers, he worked with Buddy Harris in 1933, Albert Nicholas in 1935, Lucky Millinder from 1937 to 1938, Benny Carter in 1938. During his time in New York, he played with West Indian musicians, who mistook him for one of them due to his Creole style of playing. From 1939 to 1946 he recorded with Cab Calloway, started his own group featuring his wife Blue Lu Barker after leaving Calloway. On September 4, 1945 he recorded with Ohio's native jazz pianist, Sir Charles Thompson, saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Charlie Parker.
In 1947 he was performing again with Lucky Millinder, with Bunk Johnson. He returned to working with Al Nicholas in 1948 and in 1949 rejoined efforts with his wife in a group. During the 1950s he was a freelance musician, but did work with his uncle Paul Barbarin from 1954 to 1955. In the mid-1950s he went to California to record again with Albert Nicholas, he performed at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival with Eubie Blake. In 1963 he was working with Cliff Jackson, in 1964 appeared at the World Fair leading his own group. Sometime in the early 1960s he formed a group. In 1965, Barker returned to New Orleans and took up a position as assistant to the curator of the New Orleans Jazz Museum. In 1970 he founded and led a church-sponsored brass band for young people—the Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band—which became popular. Reverend Andrew Darby, Jr. the Pastor of Fairview Baptist Church commissioned'Brother' Barker to form a Christian band, Barker went throughout the neighborhood of the church enlisting young musicians.
The Fairview band launched the careers of a number of professional musicians who went on to perform in brass band and mainstream jazz contexts, including Leroy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Kirk Joseph, Nicholas Payton, Shannon Powell, Lucien Barbarin, Dr. Michael White and others; as Joe Torregano—another Fairview band alumnus—described it, "That group saved jazz for a generation in New Orleans." In years the band became known as the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. During that time, he led the French Market Jazz Band. Barker played at many New Orleans venues from the late 1960s through the early 1990s, in addition to touring. During the 1994 Mardi Gras season, Barker reigned as King of Krewe du Vieux, he published an autobiography and many articles on New Orleans and jazz history. Barker had published two books on jazz from the Oxford University Press; the first was Bourbon Street Black, cowritten with Dr. Jack V. Buerkle, in 1973, followed by A Life In Jazz in 1986, he enjoyed painting and was an amateur landscape artist.
Living during a period when segregation was still common practice in the United States, Barker faced many obstacles during his career. Barker suffered from diabetes throughout most of his adult life, was in general poor health, he died of cancer in New Orleans on 13 March 1994 at age 85. Barker is featured posthumously in the 2011 non-fiction film by Darren Hoffman, Tradition is a Temple. Musicians from the documentary speak at length of the profound impact that Barker had on their lives and careers and New Orleans poet Chuck Perkins reads a poem written for and dedicated to his memory. Barker appears in Les Blank's New Orleans documentary Always for Pleasure, including an interview and several performance sequences. Barker appeared in the 1987 American television drama film A Gathering of Old Men, in which he played the role of Chimlee. 1994 - Big Easy Entertainment Awards - Best Traditional Jazz Group for Danny Barker 1993 - Big Easy Entertainment Awards - Lifetime Achievement In Music 1993 - Big Easy Entertainment Awards - Best Traditional Jazz Group for Danny Barker 1991 - National Endowment for the Arts NEA Jazz Masters Award 1991 - Big Easy Entertainment Awards - Best Traditional Jazz Group for Danny Barker 1990 - Big Easy Entertainment Awards - Best Traditional Jazz Group for Danny Barker and the Jazz Hounds 1989 - Big Easy Entertainment Awards - Best Traditional Jazz Group for Danny Barker and the Jazz Hounds with Blue Lu Barker List of people from New Orleans Barker and Alyn Shipton.
A Life in Jazz. New
Sidney Bechet was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. He was one of the first important soloists in jazz, beating trumpeter Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by several months, his erratic temperament hampered his career, not until the late 1940s did he earn wide acclaim. Bechet was born in New Orleans in 1897 to a middle-class Creole of color family, his older brother, Leonard Victor Bechet, was a full-time dentist and a part-time trombonist and bandleader. Bechet learned several musical instruments that were kept around the house by teaching himself. At the age of six, he started playing with his brother's band at a family birthday party, debuting his talents to acclaim. In his youth, Bechet studied with Lorenzo Tio, "Big Eye" Louis Nelson Delisle, George Baquet. Bechet played in many New Orleans ensembles using the improvisational techniques of the time, he performed in parades with Freddie Keppard's brass band, the Olympia Orchestra, in John Robichaux's dance orchestra. From 1911 to 1912, he performed with Bunk Johnson in the Eagle Band of New Orleans and in 1913–14 with King Oliver in the Olympia Band.
From 1914 to 1917 he was touring and traveling, going as far north as Chicago and performing with Freddie Keppard. In the spring of 1919, he traveled to New York City where he joined Will Marion Cook's Syncopated Orchestra. Soon after, the orchestra traveled to Europe; the group was warmly received, Bechet was popular. While in London, he discovered the straight soprano saxophone and developed a style unlike his clarinet tone, his saxophone sound could be described as emotional and large. He used a broad vibrato, similar to what was common among some New Orleans clarinetists at the time. On July 30, 1923, he began recording; the session was led by Clarence Williams, a pianist and songwriter, better known at that time for his music publishing and record producing. Bechet recorded "Wild Cat Blues" and "Kansas City Man Blues". "Wild Cat Blues" is in a ragtime style with four 16-bar themes, "Kansas City Man Blues" is a 12-bar blues. In 1919, Ernest Ansermet, a Swiss conductor of classical music, wrote a tribute to Bechet, one of the earliest to a jazz musician from the field of classical music, linking Bechet's music with that of Bach.
On September 15, 1925, Bechet and other members of the Revue Nègre, including Josephine Baker, sailed to Europe, arriving at Cherbourg, France, on September 22. The revue opened at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris on October 2, he toured Europe with various bands, reaching as far as Russia in mid-1926. In 1928, he led his small band at Chez Bricktop in Paris, he was imprisoned in Paris for eleven months. In his autobiography, he wrote that he accidentally shot a woman when he was trying to shoot a musician who had insulted him, he had challenged the man to duel and said, "Sidney Bechet never plays the wrong chord." After his release, he was deported to New York, arriving soon after the stock market crash of 1929. He joined Noble Sissle's orchestra, which toured in Russia. In 1932, Bechet returned to New York City to lead a band with Tommy Ladnier; the band, consisting of six members, performed at the Savoy Ballroom. He went on to play with Lorenzo Tio and got to know trumpeter Roy Eldridge.
In 1938 "Hold Tight, Hold Tight" known as "Hold Tight", was composed by Bechet's guitarist Leonard Ware and two session singers with claimed contributions from Bechet himself. The song became known for its suggestive lyrics and for a series of lawsuits over songwriter royalties. In 1939, Bechet and the pianist Willie "The Lion" Smith led a group that recorded several early versions of what was called Latin jazz, adapting traditional méringue and Haitian songs to the jazz idiom. On July 28, 1940, Bechet made a guest appearance on the NBC Radio show The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street, playing two of his showpieces with Henry Levine's Dixieland band. Levine invited Bechet into the RCA Victor recording studio, where Bechet lent his soprano sax to Levine's traditional arrangement of "Muskrat Ramble". On April 18, 1941, as an early experiment in overdubbing at Victor, Bechet recorded a version of the pop song "The Sheik of Araby", playing six different instruments: clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano and drums.
A hitherto unissued master of this recording was included in the 1965 LP Bechet of New Orleans, issued by RCA Victor as LPV-510. In the liner notes, George Hoeffer quoted Bechet: I started by playing The Sheik on piano, played the drums while listening to the piano. I meant to play all the rhythm instruments, but got all mixed up and grabbed my soprano the bass the tenor saxophone, finished up with the clarinet. In 1944, 1946, 1953 he recorded and performed in concert with the Chicago jazz pianist and vibraphonist Max Miller, private recordings that are part of Miller’s archive and have never been released; these concerts and recordings are described in John Chilton's biography Sidney Bechet: The Wizard of Jazz. With jobs in music difficult to find, he opened a tailor shop with Ladnier, they were played in the back of the shop. In the 1940s, Bechet played in several bands, but his financial situation did not improve until the end of that decade. By the end of the 1940s, Bechet had tired of struggling to make music in the United States.
His contract with Jazz Limited, a Chicago-
New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of the U. S. state of Louisiana. With an estimated population of 393,292 in 2017, it is the most populous city in Louisiana. A major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States. New Orleans is world-renowned for its distinct music, Creole cuisine, unique dialect, its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras; the historic heart of the city is the French Quarter, known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and vibrant nightlife along Bourbon Street. The city has been described as the "most unique" in the United States, owing in large part to its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage. Founded in 1718 by French colonists, New Orleans was once the territorial capital of French Louisiana before being traded to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. New Orleans in 1840 was the third-most populous city in the United States, it was the largest city in the American South from the Antebellum era until after World War II.
The city's location and flat elevation have made it vulnerable to flooding. State and federal authorities have installed a complex system of levees and drainage pumps in an effort to protect the city. New Orleans was affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which resulted in flooding more than 80% of the city, thousands of deaths, so much displacement because of damaged communities and lost housing as to cause a population decline of over 50%. Since Katrina, major redevelopment efforts have led to a rebound in the city's population. Concerns about gentrification, new residents buying property in closely knit communities, displacement of longtime residents have been expressed; the city and Orleans Parish are coterminous. As of 2017, Orleans Parish is the third most-populous parish in Louisiana, behind East Baton Rouge Parish and neighboring Jefferson Parish; the city and parish are bounded by St. Tammany Parish and Lake Pontchartrain to the north, St. Bernard Parish and Lake Borgne to the east, Plaquemines Parish to the south, Jefferson Parish to the south and west.
The city anchors the larger New Orleans metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 1,275,762 in 2017. It is the most populous metropolitan area in Louisiana and the 46th-most populated MSA in the United States; the city is named after the Duke of Orleans, who reigned as Regent for Louis XV from 1715 to 1723. It has many illustrative nicknames: Crescent City alludes to the course of the Lower Mississippi River around and through the city; the Big Easy was a reference by musicians in the early 20th century to the relative ease of finding work there. It may have originated in the Prohibition era, when the city was considered one big speakeasy due to the government's inability to control alcohol sales, in open violation of the 18th Amendment; the City that Care Forgot has been used since at least 1938, refers to the outwardly easy-going, carefree nature of the residents. La Nouvelle-Orléans was founded in the Spring of 1718 by the French Mississippi Company, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, on land inhabited by the Chitimacha.
It was named for Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, Regent of the Kingdom of France at the time. His title came from the French city of Orléans; the French colony was ceded to the Spanish Empire in the Treaty of Paris, following France's defeat by Great Britain in the Seven Years' War. During the American Revolutionary War, New Orleans was an important port for smuggling aid to the rebels, transporting military equipment and supplies up the Mississippi River. Beginning in the 1760s, Filipinos began to settle around New Orleans. Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez launched a southern campaign against the British from the city in 1779. Nueva Orleans remained under Spanish control until 1803, when it reverted to French rule. Nearly all of the surviving 18th-century architecture of the Vieux Carré dates from the Spanish period, notably excepting the Old Ursuline Convent. Napoleon sold Louisiana to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Thereafter, the city grew with influxes of Americans, French and Africans.
Immigrants were Irish, Germans and Italians. Major commodity crops of sugar and cotton were cultivated with slave labor on nearby large plantations. Thousands of refugees from the 1804 Haitian Revolution, both whites and free people of color, arrived in New Orleans. While Governor Claiborne and other officials wanted to keep out additional free black people, the French Creoles wanted to increase the French-speaking population; as more refugees were allowed into the Territory of Orleans, Haitian émigrés who had first gone to Cuba arrived. Many of the white Francophones had been deported by officials in Cuba in retaliation for Bonapartist schemes. Nearly 90 percent of these immigrants settled in New Orleans; the 1809 migration brought 2,731 whites, 3,102 free people of color, 3,226 slaves of African descent, doubling the city's population. The city became a greater proportion than Charleston, South Carolina's 53 percent. During the final campaign of the War of 1812, the British sent a force of 11,000 in a