I think everyone in New Orleans learns how to play an instrument at an early age, the same way everyone in California learns about surgical enhancements and everyone in Virginia Beach learns how to avoid poor people. New Orleans music breaks all the rules: its rhythms are idiosyncratic, the horns croak and blat, they hit the wrong notes and sing like they have colds. And it all comes together beautifully. They teach you something about the essence of music. And about other things, too.

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