THE ICON: Yvonne Busch
THE LEGACY: Yvonne Busch, a Treme-reared child prodigy who played several brass and woodwind instruments, was already touring professionally by the time she was 12. She would become a member of two all-female bands — International Sweethearts of Rhythm and the Swinging Rays of Rhythm — sponsored by the Piney Woods Country Life School, a boarding school she attended in Piney Woods, Miss. After studying at Southern University, where she became the first female member of the Baton Rouge school’s jazz band, Busch joined the Dooky Chase Orchestra. But rather than opting for a life on the stage, Busch chose a career in the classroom. Over 32 years of teaching music and directing bands at three New Orleans public high schools — Booker T. Washington, Joseph S. Clark and George Washington Carver — she would influence countless local musicians, ensuring that her talents, and New Orleans’ music traditions, would live on for generations to come.
THE ARTIST: Queen Hope Parker
THE INSPIRATION: “She set out to teach, and when she taught a student, they stayed taught.” — James Rivers, a former student of Busch’s, on WWOZ-FM