NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)– Danny Barker—famed New Orleans jazz banjoist, singer, guitarist, ukulele player, and author—made a lasting impact on the longevity of jazz in New Orleans. His work with the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band produced generations of new jazz talent, including Wynton & Bradford Marsalis, Shannon Powell, Lucien Barbarin, Dr. Michael White, and others. Throughout Barker’s career, he managed to record with the likes of Jelly Roll Morton, Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, Baby Dodds, Cab Calloway, Lucky Millinder, Benny Carter, and many more.
The Danny Barker Banjo and Guitar Festival was established to preserve the importance of art, education, and culture, which organizers suggest will erode in time, if not cherished and celebrated to shape the youth of the next generation. Barker’s greatest wish was for the banjo and guitar to carry the musical tradition into the future. In addition to live entertainment, the festival offers workshops and clinics, providing a hands-on approach.
This four-day feast of Danny Barker’s greatest wish happens at a handful of venues across New Orleans, and features clinics, a birthday celebration for Barker, many live performances, a “Parade of Young People,” panel discussions, film screenings, and a Grand Festival Finale.
“We want it to be not just a festival, it has an educational component and we want people to understand that,” said the festivals producer Detroit Brooks. There are so many music festivals here that we don’t need just another festival, we want it to mean more than just the music.”