Jazz was born in New Orleans, we are told. But jazz, in all its multitudes of forms, is far from the only musical genre New Orleans – or NOLA – is famous for. The town has a unique, centuries-old history coloured by many different cultures. New Orleans was founded by the French, fell into Spanish hands and became part of USA in 1803. Musically, too, the town has always been a crucible, with Afro-american culture, and musical influences from Cuba, playing important roles.
Blues, ragtime, early rhythm & blues and rock & roll, zydeco (see under Cajun & Zydeco), funk and the special, local secondline music are all on NOLA's menu. A vital feature is the annual Mardi Gras, whose street parades manifest the Afro-American culture in particular. The so-called New Orleans Indians, with their own music, dance and gaudy costumes, are a sight to see. New Orleans’ music culture is brilliantly portrayed in the streaming series Treme.