Bruce Davenport Jr's artworks celebrating New Orleans high school marching bands are featured in three pages of the September issue of Harper's Magazine. One piece on the first page is printed upside-down. It's a mistake, but it could be seen as a distress signal for band programs that the school system has been weakening and destroying with budget cuts for the last couple of decades.
HBO's Treme is starting to catch up with the backstory of The Whole Gritty City. The musician character Antoine Battiste is starting to work as an assistant music teacher and band director at a New Orleans school. And at the end of the last episode, the shocking news came through that Dinerral Shavers had been shot and killed. Shavers, the snare drummer for The Hot 8 Brass Band, had just started a new marching band at L.E. Rabouin High School. He was killed just a week before the instruments began to arrive. He was so beloved by the young band members that in honor of his dream for them, they pushed past their grief and figured out how to play their instruments and march in the Mardi Gras parades less than two months later.
Another character in Treme, the "sissy bounce" rapper Katey Red (played by (her)self) was actually the coach of the Rabouin High School majorettes. He had secretly taught himself baton twirling as a boy, and was in great demand among high school majorette squads.
Bear, the young Roots of Music trumpeter featured in The Whole Gritty City, will appear in episodes of the upcoming second season of HBO's Treme. You can get a glimpse of him holding a trumpet 49 seconds into this tease:
Thanks to nearly 300 backers we have reached our goal of raising $20,000 to help complete editing the film. This will make a crucial difference. The Kickstarter page will be up and accepting pledges until April 11, and we will make good use of any addition support that comes in. Thanks to all of you who believe in this film.