Gaspar en San Bernardo is a piece that is part original composition, and part arrangement that was born of a combination of regional history, personal history, and fantasy. I was raised in St. Bernard Parish (Louisiana is the only state in the union that does not govern by county) in southeast Louisiana just outside of New Orleans. I have often thought of what kind of music might have been played in the early years of settlement and development of the region, including New Orleans. A great deal is known of New Orleans as the birthplace of jazz, and of southwestern Louisiana Cajun music created by expatriate French Canadians. But, what music was played here before these unique styles of music were born? Surely, Spanish and French music from the Old World must have been prevalent, as these two countries were essentially the early developers of what came to be Louisiana. One anecdotal note that supports this observation is the fact that the bulk of the architecture of the famed “French Quarter” is actually in the Spanish style.
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