It’s no secret that we’re insanely curious to see David Simon’s upcoming series about post-Katrina New Orleans, Treme. Not only is the show his first official follow-up to his inimitable Baltimore-based series, The Wire, but it’s also shaping up to be the most musical dramatic television show in recent memory, with cameos by the likes of Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Galactic, Allen Toussaint, and many more already booked.
But that’s not all: In a recent Q&A with the Guardian’s Andrew Anthony, Simon discussed how music is used to illuminate Treme’s key themes about American urban culture, and dropped this brilliant quote:
If you walk into a shebeen in South Africa, or whatever version of a bar they have in Kathmandu, if they have a jukebox, you’re going to find some Michael Jackson, some Otis Redding, some John Coltrane. It has gone around the world. That is the essential American contribution to worldwide culture. The combination of African rhythms and the pentatonic scale and European instrumentation and arrangement. That collision of the two happened in a 12-square block area of a city called New Orleans that had a near-death experience in 2005.
Check out Simon’s full interview here. Treme premieres April 11th on HBO.