This has been a sad year for the New Orleans musicians' community and two more greats have recently passed, vocalist Juanita Brooks and multi-instrumentalist Hart McNee.
Brooks is best known for her theatrical work in the productions of "One Mo' Time," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," and "Staggerlee," but she was a vibrant presence on the local club scene performing with a host of local stalwarts including the late Eddie Bo, George and Bob French and the Palm Court Jazz All-Stars. Her funeral was this morning and her friends will remember her with a jam session at Sweet Lorraine's.
McNee, who recently passed away after a long illness, was a resident of my neighborhood in the Bywater section of the 9th Ward. His friends will gather for second line in his memory tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm in front of his old house at 3212 Burgundy St. (between Piety and Louisa Streets). The parade will proceed up Burgundy St. to Press St, down Press to Chartres, up Chartres to Port with a stop at Sound Café. It will then head to Royal and Franklin for a refreshment stop at Mimi's and Flora Café. From there it will head up Royal, turn left on Spain, and stop at Chartres and Spain (Cake Café.) It will then continue down Spain to Decatur and up Decatur to Frenchmen Street and disband at Café Brasil.