As a Katrina Media Fellow, Larry Blumenfeld has focused on the cultural crisis left in the wake of the 2005 floods, specifically the struggles of brass bands, Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Mardi Gras Indians, jazz musicians, and music educators. His writing has detailed efforts to rebuild and protect these communities, and described how this resilient culture serves as a front line in battles for justice, equity, and empowerment in New Orleans.
Blumenfeld is a cultural journalist with 20 years of experience writing for leading newspapers, alternative weeklies, websites, and specialized jazz magazines; his work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, The New York Times, Salon, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications, and on WNYC-FM in New York. He is editor-at-large for Jazziz magazine (he was editor-in-chief from 1995-2000) and was formerly editor of Global Rhythm magazine.
His experiences as a Midcareer Fellow at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism's National Arts Journalism Program led him to focus on culture as political force and social statement. One outgrowth was his essay for the new collection Music in the Post-9/11 World (Routledge), on musical expressions of Sufism in contrast to stereotypes of Islam. He's also written extensively about the stifling effect of Bush administration policies on U.S.-Cuba musical collaborations and on the links between jazz and American identity.
As a volunteer, he produces the Deer Isle Jazz Festival in Stonington, Maine. He was the producer of several music compilations, including Echoes of the Forest: Music of the Central African Pygmies (Ellipsis Arts, 1995) and Brazil: A Century of Song (Blue Jackel, 1998). Though he continues to spend much of his time in New Orleans, Blumenfeld makes his permanent home in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, where he longs during the day to play basketball and at night to hear music performed live.