The music of New Orleans, Louisiana, is more than just Dixieland jazz, Professor Longhair and Pete Fountain.
It’s hip-hop and zydeco. It’s funk and folk. It’s hard rock and new wave, blues and metal, Lil Wayne and the Radiators and Fats Domino and Galactic.
If food is the soul of the city, then music is its heartbeat. (Or maybe it’s the other way around.)
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“Treme,” the HBO show about post-Katrina New Orleans that concludes its first season Sunday, gets it. It has to get it, says music supervisor Blake Leyh. When it comes to the sound of the Crescent City, every New Orleanian is an expert.
The musical choices are often collaborative, says Blake Leyh, right, with producer Eric Overmyer.
“I definitely have felt a heavy, heavy responsibility of representing New Orleans music to the rest of the world,” he says. “There are so many incredible, important artists who have given so much to greater American music culture, but aren’t really known outside the city. So I think that’s the thing people down there were worried about initially, and now excited about — seeing the story told to a wider audience who doesn’t know it, and done with respect and love for the music.”