Retired steamboat Captain Clarke “Doc” Hawley will kick off the Steamboat Stomp, the city’s new traditional jazz festival this coming week, with a lecture at the Historic New Orleans Collection’s Williams Research Center.
Hawley’s presentation will shed light on the history of steamboats and their influence on jazz.
It’s scheduled Friday and will be immediately followed by a series of live performances on two stages aboard the Steamboat Natchez, one of the last authentic steamboats operating in the United States.
The featured artists include Duke Heitger and the Steamboat Stompers, Banu Gibson, Dukes of Dixieland, Yerba Buena Stompers and Butch Thompson and Friends.
The Steamboat Stomp is a three-day celebration in the French Quarter with events aboard the Natchez, at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel and the Historic New Orleans Collection.
The festival emphasizes the historical and cultural significance of jazz on the Mississippi River.
Organizers say the festival will generate new interest in New Orleans-born jazz music — one of the city’s most important indigenous traditions.