The musical Gabriel family back in the news



We were treated to a very nice segment on the Gabriel Brass Band on WDIV-TV today. The Gabriel family is a huge musical family whose history spans from Detroit to New Orleans over hundreds of miles and many years. Our own Larry Gabriel is a member, cousin to Dameon, who was featured in the segment. And it's a subject Gabriel has written about before, most recently about Charlie Gabriel, but most comprehensively in a 2006 cover story, in which you get a sense of the energy of a good second line performance:

As a grand marshal I instigate these gyrations. I drive them on with blasts from my whistle. I twirl a festooned umbrella as my feet skip from side to side, a white dove pinned to my shoulder, beads rattling on my chest. I'm possessed as sweat soaks through my clothing. I feel as if I'm conjuring up spirits from New Orleans' legendary Congo Square, where, in the mid-1800s, nouveau Americans of color gathered to play African rhythms, dance the remembered dances and sing the sacred songs.

If the video segment got your attention, you might look back at that literary feast from almost a decade ago.


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