Interview with Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes, New Orleans, Louisiana

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Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes
Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes is a musician, author, and ethnographic photographer. Sunpie is the Big Chief of the Northside Skull and Bone Gang, one the oldest Afro-Creole carnival groups in the United States, which began its traditions in 1819. He is a member of the Black Men of Labor Social Aid and Pleasure Club and the band leader of Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots. His joint book and album project, Le Kèr Creole, was co-authored with Rachel Breunlin and Leroy Etienne. Sunpie is a former National Park Service Ranger, former high school biology teacher, former college football All-American, and former NFL football player for the Kansas City Chiefs. He performs his own style of Afro-Louisiana music, incorporating blues, zydeco, creole jazz, gospel, work songs, and Caribbean and African-influenced rhythms and melodies and is a multi-instrumentalist who plays accordion, harmonica, and piano along with rubboard, talking drum, and dejembe. He is a former member of the Paul Simon Band, and his acting work has appeared in the Hollywood films Point of No Return, Deja Vu, Under Cover Blues, Jonah Hex, Tremé, The Big Easy, Skeleton Key, and many more. 

Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/14/2020.
Holly Hobbs
Music; United States; Covid-19 Pandemic
New Orleans, Louisiana
Musicians in America during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Society for Ethnomusicology

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