"I secretly would love to line up all these young, dumb, cocky musicians and slap them one-by-one. #BAM"

- Nicholas Payton on Facebook

 

   Seeing the spectacle that was Uncle Lionel's funeral, which I'm still laughing and shaking my head from, brought up (which seems to be) an age-old debate/argument. It has seemed to make its way back into the forefront of our minds as musicians and torch bearers of this music we hold so near and dear to our hearts. 

 

   But as I was able to talk to the musicians whom I look up to, I was able to notice a discovery. When you ask any cat (especially from New Orleans) who their biggest influence was, they will undeniably mention a musician that they were able to touch, talk to, or listen to elders talk about. The tradition has always been, and will always be, passed on to the next generation that way.

 

   I've developed a theory....

   There is a hierarchy when it comes to the tradition of this great music.....

   There's you. The budding, impressionable, young cubbie who wants to become someone of relevance.

   Then there's your Big brother/sister. This is the cat you want to be like because it seems as if he/she has it together. They're making the money, playing all the killin 'music, etc. 

   And then there's your Elder. This is the wise voice who ultmately becomes your biggest fan, and your most constructive critic. The elder was the one who told you that what you're doing is good, but he/she could show you how to do better. And you listened. Why? Because big brother/sister inspired you to.....

 

   Which brings the question...

 

   Who are the elders now?

Has there been a transition? Are we stuck in a limbo where we don't know who they are? Do the elders feel they're too young?

i can go on and on and on.......

But who cares?

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