Along St. Claude

Over the course of 2013, I interviewed dozens and dozens of folks who live, or once lived, in the neighborhoods along both sides of St. Claude Avenue, roughly from St. Bernard to Poland Avenue. I asked folks to share stories of their neighborhoods, what they’re like now, how they’ve changed, and how they feel about those changes. These voices became the makings of a seven part radio documentary, Along Saint Claude, which aired on WWNO, our local NPR station.

I’ve lived in Downtown New Orleans going on eight years, and I’m amazed by the changes I see happening around me. I hear people talking about these changes all the time, and I wanted to listen more closely to what different people think and feel about our community’s past, present, and future. I am incredibly thankful to all the people who took time to talk with me.

Thanks also to: Adam Fiebleman, Nina Feldman, Thomas Walsh, Tina Antolini, Laine Kaplan Levenson, Seth Ludman, Marie Lovejoy, Alison Fensterstock, Greg Schatz, Rebecca Snedeker, Katy Reckdahl, and Eve Troeh.

Listen here.


Documenting Preservation Hall

Over the last several years, I have been interviewing the Jazz musicians who regularly play at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, a sanctuary for traditional New Orleans Jazz. Preservation Hall is a container of both people and sounds linking the present to the past. Using interviews I’ve conducted with over thirty musicians – from the most recent, thirty-something arrivals, to the septuagenarians who’ve been playing at the Hall for decades – this documentary project collectively tells the story of an institution which has been a container for fostering, preserving, and continuing one of our nation’s most valued art forms: traditional, New Orleans Jazz. These documentaries also tell the stories of many individuals who keep this music and its attendant culture alive.

Listen here to the audio documentaries I made for the Preservation Hall exhibit at the Louisiana State Museum at the Old US Mint, in New Orleans.

Thanks to Laine Kaplan-Levenson for editorial assistance!


Remembering Walter

Bass player, educator, master of Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, and Classical music, Walter Payton passed away on October 28, 2010. He was 68 years old. His long musical career included anchoring the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, leading his own Gumbo File and Snap Bean Bands, and marching on sousaphone with the Young Tuxedo Brass Band, as well as the Eureka, the Olympia, the Treme, and the Apollo brass bands. Walter recorded on Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is" and Lee Dorsey's "Working in a Coal Mine," and he spent 25 years teaching music in New Orleans' public schools.  

Listen here.


Man with a Blue Truck

Who knew a hit-and-run could end in friendship?

This documentary received an honorable mention from the Third Coast International Audio Festival's Short Docs challenge.

Listen here.


Chain of Missing Links

A few weeks into the oil gusher catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, my first grade students wanted to talk about it – a lot. This documentary is shaped around their words.

Listen here.


Costuming, the New Orleans Way

For many New Orleanians, Mardi Gras season is the time to take down the boxes stuffed with glittery fabric and feathers, hit the thrift stores, and start stirring the paper mache. What does costuming mean? A time to escape, a time to play, a time to hide and be seen all at once. And sometimes, your costume becomes something else: it tells you a story about your own life.

Listen here.


A Youth Documentary: Growing Up Without a Father

Youth radio reporter James Oliver tells the story of his relationship with his father, who has been absent for the bulk of James's life — in part due to a stay in prison. This story was the product of a project called "Listen Up, New Orleans," which taught teens the art of making radio stories.  Produced by Eve Abrams

Listen here.


A Youth Documentary: Teen Baby Mamas

Youth radio reporter Kadija Garner explores the issue of teen pregnancy in New Orleans. What are the options for pregnant teens? How are teen mothers judged by others and by themselves?  This story was the product of a project called "Listen Up, New Orleans," which taught teens the art of making radio stories. Produced by Eve Abrams

Listen here.


A Mardi Gras Sisyphus Story

Living in New Orleans can be like pushing a boulder up a hill. For the first Mardi Gras after Hurricane Katrina, adopted native Chris Lane dressed up as Sisyphus. Little did he know that a Sisyphusian task awaited him -- both in terms of actualizing his costume as well as returning to live in New Orleans.

Listen here.


Back to School

This was the first documentary I made!  It’s starring my former students, all off to college now.  Back then, these kids were starting junior high school and they shared their excitements and anxieties with me.

Listen here.


Things I love New Orleans

This homage to New Orleans was my second audio documentary. I made it while New Orleans was flooded as a result of the federal levee failure following Hurricane Katrina.  I didn't want to forget what it is I value so deeply about the Crescent City.

Listen here.


The Truck Farm

This is a documentary about my back yard.  But wait! It's an unusual back yard. Kinda like a private park. I share it with my neighbors here on Saint Claude Avenue, at a place known as The Truck Farm.

Listen here.





 © Eve Abrams 2010