Jazz drummer Shannon Powell, who calls himself the "King of Treme," plays with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and has performed with Diana Krall and Harry Connick Jr.
That unique-to-New Orleans street sounds blended with the church hymns and gospel that filled his childhood weekends. Shannon Powell grew up next door to the St. Philip Church of God in Christ, and on Sundays, he would spend the entire day in church, starting with 9 a.m. Mass at St. Louis Cathedral, where he was an altar boy. After Mass, he'd go to services at St. James Methodist Church with his aunt.
In the congregations, Shannon Powell'd marvel at the way the women would "testify" with their tambourines. "It's like saying something with your mouth, but instead speaking it with your tambourine," he said, illustrating with a passionate, bone-rattling pounding on the instrument.
Much of his early musical education also came from a more secular settings. At the Three Brothers Lounge on St. Philip and Treme streets, a young Shannon Powell met Danny Barker, the rhythm guitarist for Cab Calloway, Lucky Millinder and Benny Carter. Barker took Powell under his wing, teaching him everything from music "volume and dynamics" to how to manage his money.