The New Orleans Creoles of colour: Creole classique, Part 1 of 3

Canal Street in New Orleans c. 1890 (© New Orleans Local)

Of the many styles of music produced in 19th century New Orleans, the least well known was music composed by people of colour, especially free Creoles of colour. These French-speaking and often wealthy citizens felt a strong connection to European culture and classical music.

Music historian Lester Sullivan (1947-2013) introduces us to some of the more important figures: Edmund Dédé (1827-1901), Charles Lucien Lambert (1828-1896), and Basile Barès (1845 or 1846-1902), the only slave to ever get his musical work copyrighted. These composers and performers had strong links to France, and we learn how eventually they even influenced European music.

Producer: David Swatling

Broadcast: September 27, 2002