NEC Celebrates New Orleans Culture
Since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, students from New England College have made four trips to the New Orleans area, not only to learn, but to participate in restoration, rebuilding and community service. Students from the NEC New Orleans Program spent an entire semester there and members of the College’s Environmental Action Committee spent their spring break in the Gulf Coast region. Not only have they been studying the history, culture, and music of the area, but they have been volunteering for a number of community based projects. In return, students and faculty at the College have organized programs bringing both students and musicians from Louisiana to Henniker, New Hampshire. A group of more than 50 students from Louisiana attended College Convention 2008. Organized primarily by students from the CivicCorps group at New England College, College Convention 2008 brought six presidential candidates and a variety of surrogates, speakers, and supporters, to Manchester, New Hampshire in December 2008 for four days of workshops and presentations. Legendary trombonist, Delfeayo Marsalis, performed with his jazz quintet during the Convention and returned to Henniker the following September for a workshop and benefit performance featuring local musicians from the Dave Tonkin Group, and the Kearsarge Regional High School Jazz Ensemble.
Nine NEC students recently returned from the latest trip to New Orleans where they spent their January term volunteering at the largest food bank in the area, a homeless shelter, a community center, the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Since their return, the students and their faculty advisors, Professor Dennis Kalob, and Professor Catherine Kalob, two local professors with strong ties to the New Orleans area, have been planning an evening to share their educational and community service experiences and to bring a little of that special New Orleans music to Henniker.
The program will be held on Monday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Simon Center at 98 Bridge Street in Henniker. The program is free and open to the public. Students will give a presentation on their trip followed by live zydeco and blues music by Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes and Matt Hampsey. **THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL A LATER DATE (TBA)**
Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes is a veteran musician, actor, former high school biology teacher, and has played football in college as an All-American and professionally with the Kansas City Chiefs. He has brought his unique style of blues, zydeco and Afro-Louisiana music to 35 countries. He and his group, Sunpie and The Louisiana Sunspots have five critically acclaimed CDs.
Guitarist Matt Hampsey has played a variety of Louisiana music styles over the past 20 years. He has performed with Sunpie and The Louisiana Sunspots, Shades of Praise, Cyril Neville, and Sista Teedy and Cool Riddums. He graduated from the University of New Orleans Jazz Studies Program and is a former Marine Corps Band member. He currently works for the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.