On August 10, 2011, the New Orleans-based brass-funk-rock band Bonerama sent a letter to the members of the Louisiana Congressional Delegation in support of National Public Radio and their local affiliate, WWOZ. Public radio’s support over the years has been instrumental in the band’s success, just as it has for many developing artists across the country. Download a PDF of the letter below.
Members of the Louisiana Congressional Delegation,
We, the members of Bonerama, are writing in support of National Public Radio and non-commercial radio. National Public Radio is a principal vehicle for fostering the growth of local music communities and helps to maintain the vitality of American Arts and Culture. NPR has been instrumental in delivering the unique sounds of our hometown of New Orleans to music enthusiasts across the country year-round. Without this kind of exposure, the musicians of Louisiana would not be able to expand their networks and grow their brands and businesses.
Bonerama is a trombone jazz funk and rock band that formed in New Orleans in 1998. The individual members of the band originate form all across the country, but were drawn together by the spirit and soul of New Orleans. The band gained a regional audience through its residency at Tipitina’s in the French Quarter. This original gig allowed Bonerama to begin to tour and eventually release three live albums. In 2008, the band teamed up with indie pop stars OK Go for the EP You’re Not Alone, to raise money for New Orleans musicians displaced by Katrina. Last year, we released our first studio-recorded EP, Hard Times. Hard Times includes a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks,” as well as the song “Lost My House,” which is a true account inspired by the levee failures of 2005. Hard Times received significant local press and was brought to the attention of national audiences through NPR. In April, NPR featured Bonerama on a compilation of bands as a lead up to the 2011 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
The music of Louisiana maintains its vibrant nature due to deep cultural roots and the individual communities that grow from those roots. Public radio in Louisiana is the number one platform for delivering and developing local artists that continue to build upon the history and traditions that precede them. WWOZ, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station, is a prime example of such a public radio station. Over the last few years, NPR has paired with WWOZ to provide nationwide coverage of the Jazz Festival, and bring the sounds of Louisiana to listeners across the country.
Bonerama is essentially a small business making a living off our local export, Louisiana culture and music. Public radio and NPR has been the largest promotional device for our business and Louisiana music and culture as a whole. If Congress votes to limit federal funding for NPR and non- commercial radio stations, small local stations that are in true need of such funding will have to cut jobs. The ability to program and feature a multitude of rising diverse local artists will be limited and national exposure to Louisiana music and culture will be diminished. As working musicians with close bonds to the community, Bonerama believes that the de-funding of public radio would cause a debilitating blow to both the culture and economy of our great state of Louisiana.
Thank you for your time,
|Bonerama Letter.pdf||84.55 KB|