As much as Treme — which debuted its second season last month on HBO — is about politics, racial relations and economic hardship in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, it’s also about the music of the Big Easy. Rarely did a silent moment go by during the first season, and viewers can expect even more of NOLA’s most notable Zydeco, Cajun and hip-hop artists in the show’s sophomore outing. “We get excited about getting new performers on the show and devising new ways to put music into the show,” says Lolis Eric Elie, a former Times-Picayune columnist who now works as a writer for Treme. Here’s a look at some of the artists who’ve appeared on the series thus far. (And for even more on Treme and series star Steve Zahn, turn to page 42.)
You’ve heard the work of this songwriter, arranger and legendary jazz pianist in movies like Casino and in the “Fall in Love with Louisiana” ad campaign.
For many years, this 70-year-old crooner ran her own club in the Crescent City. It closed after Katrina, but she’s still making music.
This trumpeter co-founded the Rebirth Brass Band, one of New Orleans’ most well-known ensembles.
Dr. John — née Malcolm John Rebennack Jr. — skillfully combines Zydeco, boogie-woogie, psychedelic rock, blues and jazz.
Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews
This 25-year-old trombonist and Orleans Avenue frontman joined U2 and Green Day onstage at the Superdome reopening.
The Pine Leaf Boys
This Grammy-nominated, fiddle-based band is composed of five young Cajuns from southwestern Louisiana.