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  • 5. Lu and Charlie's: Potables, Sustenance, and Jazz

    Lu and Charlie's

    Lu and Charlie's: Potables, Sustenance, and Jazz club secured its legacy in the history of jazz here in New Orleans at 1101 North Rampart Street. As the bastion of modern jazz in the city, Lu and Charlie’s was a hub of integration for all racial, economic, and cultural backgrounds and a learning place where musicians could go and evolve their techniques and talents. Ellis Marsalis was a regular at the club at a time when he had no other gigs, and Wynton Marsalis apprenticed there playing the flugelhorn. Bruce Raeburn, a former curator at the Hogan Jazz Archive, stated that the club "benefited from an esprit de corps which helped sustain and nurture modern jazz in New Orleans at a crucial stage in its development – it was the lifeline that made the future possible." As the epicenter for progressive jazz, the musicians who played there could express their artistic freedom while being paid union scale. After the club’s closing New Year's Day of 1978, Charlie served as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival's contemporary jazz coordinator. Lula contributed to the development of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts as well as the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans. Lu and Charlie's Preservation Society, a non-profit named for the jazz club was founded in 1998. Inspired by Milt Hinton and Ellis Marsalis, the non-profit is continuing to document, promote, and preserve the legacy of African American history, especially jazz.