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Alvin Batiste (1985)

Louisiana Legends



Genre: Interview

Place Covered: New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1985-07-24

Duration: 00:26:56

Subjects: BATISTE, ALVIN | JAZZ | Clarinetists | Carnegie Hall (New York, N.Y.) | FRENCH QUARTER | Southern University and A & M College | Charles, Ray, 1930-2004 | Parker, Charlie, 1920-1955 | Africa | Music | Racism | Drugs


  • Grigsby, Kathryn Producer
  • Fourrier, Clay Associate Producer
  • Richard, Todd Director
  • Weill, Gus Interviewer
  • Batiste, Alvin Interviewee


This episode of the series “Louisiana Legends” from July 24, 1985, features an interview with Alvin Batiste conducted by Gus Weill. Batiste, a New Orleans native, was a jazz clarinetist, composer, and educator at the Jazz Institute at Southern University in Baton Rouge. He discusses performing at Carnegie Hall in New York along with other Southern musicians; receiving his first clarinet at age 14; sneaking into clubs in the French Quarter as a teenager ; the encouragement he received from the New Orleans music community; touring with Ray Charles; receiving degrees from Southern University and Louisiana State University; his exposure to the positive and negative aspects of race through music; teaching himself to play Charlie Parker’s music on the saxophone and translating it to the clarinet; organizing and teaching at the Jazz Institute at Southern University; his experience of visiting Africa in 1973; and the link between drugs and music.