The Kinfolk Brass Band — which will perform in London for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, thanks to BP — introduced Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne at a press conference at the Old U.S. Mint July 13. Dardenne was announcing a partnership with Harry Connick Jr. and Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB).
In addition to the six-part documentary Louisiana: 200 Years of Statehood, LPB also will air a "musical tribute" to tie in with the state's 2013 tourism campaign highlighting the state's music. Connick will host and narrate the program, which features Louisiana artists performing on-site across the state. BP has provided $1 million in funding.
"It was almost a mandate" that the state call attention to its musical history for its bicentennial, Dardenne said.
The artists will perform renditions of "You Are My Sunshine," originally recorded by Gov. Jimmie Davis in 1939 and one of two official state songs. Performers will include Connick, the Marsalis family, Tim McGraw, Rebirth Brass Band, Irma Thomas, the Zion Harmonizers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Buddy Guy, Buckwheat Zydeco, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Zachary Richard and Better Than Ezra.
The program will interweave several vignettes highlighting the state's agriculture, waterways, tourism and oil and gas industries. The vignettes will be written by Chris Rose and narrated by Connick. The documentary airs Aug. 13 around the state and Aug. 14 in New Orleans on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV. The music program will air later this year. — ALEX WOODWARD