Monday, February 15, 2010

A Shreveport love affair: the Krewe of Highland and Blanc et Noir Marching Society in the Krewe of Highland Parade

Blanc et Noir '10
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Creswell Ave seemed to have bigger crowds than ever as Blanc et Noir Marching Society and the Red & Black Brass Band rolled in the 2010 parade, "Goin Green."

What a mellow neighborhood! Every step brought us smiles of affirmation from the crowd.

More people than ever danced to the band as we passed their spots. And, happily, the krewe was joined by several capable ad hoc dancers who stayed with us for much of the parade. One was an outstanding lad dressed all in black - wish I'd gotten his name. One dancer was middle-aged, rumbly, stubbly and dancing in tall rubber boots. Another nice development were several groups of people who spontaneously applauded the krewe and band.

If you wondered about the hula hoop girl: her name is Lisa and she said she teaches hula hoop dance at Lotus Studio on Olive St.

The Red & Black Brass Band played the night before the parade for the Krewe of Harambee, said Jerry Davenport, and impressed everyone. In our 4th year together we thought they played better than ever. And they told us they're getting more gigs than ever.

One of my favorite developments: 15 year-old Larsson McSwain brought his long-legged dance moves to the krewe and sort of instantly learned all of Jerry Davenport's routines and kept the energy high block after block.

A shout-out to this year's Big Shots, a group of sustainers who contribute $100 or more as their membership fee: Lee Spruell, Stuart & Elysse Orchard, Marion & Ginger Marks, David & Beth Wells, Mike & Dolly McSwain.

Another shout to the Blanc et Noir Queen, Jennette Ginsberg, and King, Lee Spruell. Both have been golden in bringing new people to our party. And a salute to my co-founders and co-admins, the artful Jerry Davenport and tireless wife, Tarama.

A tip o' the top hat, too, to the Krewe of Highland, who took Blanc et Noir under its wing from the beginning: Matthew Linn, Queen Kathy Melancon and more.

The effervescence of the Krewe of Highland's Bal Masque should also get a note. It was packed (hail to the Krewe of Justinian for their neon!)and it was all about dancing. The 2010 music was amazing: David Egan and Twenty Years of Trouble were hot. And they were joined by Buddy Flett on slide and by Kenny Wayne Shepherd on sunburst Strat.

Wish I had more of the names of the Krewe of Highland producers; they have given a huge gift to the city and the neighborhood.

If you want to hire the Red & Black Brass Band, their leader is trombonist Daryl Williams; reach him at

If you want to join us in Blanc et Noir, and we would love to have you with us, see more at the krewe blog.

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