King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain walk from the Cabildo to the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Friday, June 15, 2018. They are in New Orleans to help celebrate the city’s 300th anniversary, was colonized by Spain from 1763 to 1802. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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Jazz musicians and Mardi Gras Indians will entertain the king and queen of Spain as the royal couple winds up a visit to celebrate New Orleans’ tricentennial. King Felipe (feh-LEE-peh) VI and Queen Letizia (leh-TEETH-ee-uh) head of Louisiana to San Antonio, Texas, and Washington.
The Mardi Gras Indians are groups of African-Americans who make elaborate feathers and beads costumes in which they strut and dance through the streets on Mardi Gras.
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain to land in New Orleans Thursday, June 14, 2018, where they were greeted by a jazz band and the Mardi Gras Indians.
Clarinetist, pianist, music historian, and Xavier University Spanish professor Michael White said that he and his Original Liberty Brass Band will be playing two pieces with a connection to Europe and New Orleans in the New Orleans Museum of Art.
“Panama” is a march in the traditional European style.
“It was published in 1911, and all corners of the country was played by and read by the bands,” White said. “But in New Orleans they kind of threw the sheet music and improvised, and therefore made it personal. I think it is a good way to show that the interaction between the European culture and New Orleans culture.”
The royal couple will be accompanied by New Orleans’ historic French Quarter.
The second, the “Andalusian Strut,” is one of White’s own compositions. It combines a common flamenco structure and flamenco-type rhythms and melodies with a classic New Orleans jazz blues style and improvisation, ” he said.
White said their third would probably be “When the Saints Go Marching In,” which White describes as “probably the most famous song in New Orleans history.”
Felipe and Letizia flew Thursday night to Louisiana, and that was a Spanish colony from 1763 to 1802. They arrived at the New Orleans airport at sunset and were greeted by a number of officials including Louisiana Gov. Call John Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain examine a plaque was unveiled by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, left, at a welcoming ceremony in Gaul Hall in New Orleans, Friday, June 15, 2018.
They saluted New Orleans’ centuries-old Spanish heritage at an event on Friday Gaul Hall, a former town Hall opened in 1853 and renovated for the city’s 300th anniversary. That evening they visited two buildings erected under Spanish rule: the St. Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo, the Spanish government seat in Louisiana.
On Monday they will go to Washington for a White House visit Tuesday with President Donald Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump.