hugh laurie

Two PBS programs focus on Blues and the Jazz Age

PBS has two programs in the coming week that focus on New Orleans Blues and the Jazz Age.  This Friday, September 30 at 9pm (Eastern), British actor Hugh Laurie showcases his musical side in a Great Performances episode filmed in New Orleans.  October 2-4, 8-10pm nightly, brings Ken Burns' and Lynn Novick's Prohibition, about the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution and its effect on (or creation of) the Jazz Age.

Laurie says he finds his greatest satisfaction and inspiration from the mixture of blues and jazz that grew out of New Orleans at the beginning of the last century. This Great Performances, "Let Them Talk," includes documentary and interview segments during Laurie's travels around the city.  The program features his performances with blues legends Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas, as well as a fellow countryman Sir Tom Jones. With concert sequences filmed at the historic Latrobe’s building in the French Quarter, the musical selections include New Orleans blues standards along with some forgotten and neglected gems.

Versatile British actor Hugh Laurie, an American favorite for his role in the hit TV series “House,” showcases his musical side in an atmospheric special filmed in New Orleans. Photo courtesy Michael Wilson
Versatile British actor Hugh Laurie, an American favorite for his role in the hit TV series “House,” showcases his musical side in an atmospheric special filmed in New Orleans. Photo courtesy Michael Wilson

On Friday at 6:30pm, tune into WBGO for the WBGO Journal as TV Guide's Bruce Fretts stops by to preview Prohibition.  Ken Burns will also be a guest on Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio on WBGO Jazz88.3FM on Monday, October 3 at 6:30pm.

Female dancers performing the Charleston, 1926. Credit: ©Scherl / Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / The Image Works
Female dancers performing the Charleston, 1926. Credit: ©Scherl / Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / The Image Works