Thursday, May 13, 2010


<em>You know every year my station Power 102.9 and Oldschool 106.7 give a Brass Band Blow Out. We always looked at "TO BE CONTINUED" as the "young" band.. I remember seeing them playing on Frenchmen Street and watching them, to seeing them at the HOB for Brass Band blowout.. The last BBB we had I told an older lady on stage... "damn they grown now".... Recently this April Kia, Fresh, Jinky Ashley and I went to the Big Easy Awards .... TO BE CONTINUED was nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Band.. They lost to Soul Rebels but the nomination was like a win for us... we were proud and we sipped watermelon cocktails while thinking about how far they have come... then this happened....
I'm still trying to figure out where we went wrong as a city, and why our young men are taken from us time and time again. I didn't personally know Brandon Franklin however, we all know a young black man who was taken away from us behind violence that they didn't deserve. As I speak to different people in the community that knows Brandon, they all speak so highly of him.. His presence will be dearly and severely missed. We hear at the Tea, Power 102.9, Oldschool 106.7 would like to send our deepest sympathies to his family, To Be Conitinued Brass Band, O.Perry Walker Highschool and every friend and musician who will feel this lost the closest.

(that boy second line like he from the 9th Ward)

Every evening since the untimely death of TBC Brass Band’s saxophonist Brandon Franklin on Mother’s Day, his friends and family have paid tribute to him in his old neighborhood of the Ninth Ward. Over 40 musicians played together, all of them between high school age and early 30’s, from different bands, different high schools and the musical mastery was absolutely phenomenal. At any given time, various musicians took the lead in directing the band to transition songs or feature a horn player or a line of instruments, accomplished through coded beats and hand gestures all while navigating neighborhood streets, potholes, dancers and traffic and yet the music never once faltered. The songs just kept flowing, flying, diving, building wide and high into overflowing heartfelt testimonies of love for their fallen fellow soldier. The grief at times was visible and palpable amidst the crowd. But the fire of the music, marching and second-lining transformed the collective sadness into release, acceptance and celebration of a life that brought so much joy to the community. These tributes are a testament to the power of New Orleans culture, high school music programs and to a life lived right as several musicians testified to, exemplified in the words of TBC trombonist Edward ‘Juicy’ Jackson: “I’m not worried…cause Brandon was good with God.”

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