This essay narrates an experience of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans to reflect on jazz, blues, slavery, race, community, diaspora, memory, and gentrification. It contextualizes itself through details of a particular neighborhood in New Orleans known as the Bywater, through scholarly accounts of the function of music in the slave trade, through reports on the singing of survivors in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and in terms of the ongoing efforts of some New Orleanians to minimize the sound of live music in the streets of the city.

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