New Orleans trombone player Glen David Andrews led a protest second line around Jackson Square this afternoon to protest the citys apparent decision to suddenly start enforcing a city ordinance that prohibits playing music in the streets after 8 pm.
Andrews told reporters three TV crews and an assortment of print and online journalists that he was arrested in the square 15 years ago, and said that musicians like him are the reason people come to Jackson Square. He then led an impromptu second line of his 15 musicians and about 100 tourists on the route. "They say it's illegal," he said. "But we're going to do it today as a statement."
"If youve got a problem with the Andrews next generation, all the next generation musicians coming up in New Orleans, then why dont you just give 'em guns and crack and send them in the neighborhoods?" asked Andrews. "Cause thats what youre basically doing.
"We dont want to hear this about public safety. Thats why youve got a new police chief. Make him do his job," added Andrews, who is one of the city's many brass-band musicians who has played himself in the HBO series Treme.
"We have a new mayor, we think hes a good mayor, but its time that he comes to the table with us," he added.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu released a statement last night saying he would "work with the City Council and the New Orleans Police Department to review the quality of life ordinances to ensure that they best serve the needs of our community." (The statement was sent out again today with the co-signature of District C councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer, whose district includes the French Quarter.)
"I'm part of the fabric of what you call New Orleans," said Andrews, gesturing to the crowd of gathered tourists. "Did you all come to see me?"
The crowd cheered.
"Were not going to have another musician getting arrested," said Andrews. "Were not going to have another musician getting a ticket, and if we get word, if I get word of any other musicians being harassed, were going to get Trombone Shorty, Lenny Kravitz, the Andrews [Brass Band], Rebirth [Brass Band], Dr. John, and were going to march on City Hall."