Eluard A. Burt II Obituary

Eluard A. Burt II Obituary


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



In 1967 Eluard was hired as theater director for Free Southern Theater.

There he re-instituted the jazz and poetry performances.

In addition, he started writing, acting, music and dance workshops



Eluard Burt CDs


Gumbolia  / Live! On Frenchmen Street


*   *   *   *   *


Eluard A Burt II Obituary

New Orleans Musician Passed  (Sunday 5 August 2007)


Eluard A. Burt, II—born February 15,1937 and raised in New Orleans; died August 5, 2007 in Englewood, California—was a flautist, percussionist, key-boardist, a writer, a choreographer, a director, a producer and music historian. His life has been entrenched in the music and culture of New Orleans. From the early 1950s to the present, Eluard has been a participant and contributing member of the New Orleans music world.

As a teenager he played reeds in greats bands such as Chuck Willis, Big Joe Turner, and The Dominoes. His first recorded sound was on the original cuts of “C.C. Ryder,” and “Betty and Dupree,” playing both the tenor and the baritone saxophones in Chuck Willis’ band.

During a four-year tour of duty in the Air Force, Eluard won the Master of Ceremonies competition each year and traveled with the Special Service “Tops in Blue” as an MC and vocalist. Following his Air Force tour he returned to the New Orleans music scene as a flautist. By the spring of 1959, Eluard (who was also playing congas and piano), and a host of other conga players would gather on the lakefront East of Franklin Avenue on Sundays playing well into the night. There, what has become known as Afro Music (New Orleans Style) was born. In the summer of 1960 Eluard formed The Crescents Quartet, with Alfred “Uganda” Roberts, Earl Tillman, and Richard Washington.

By the summer of 1961 dancers from local senior high schools joined the group and the first Afro Music and Dance workshops and concerts developed. Besides the dancers, Eluard added voices with “Spoken Word” artists, including his own vocals, to the shows, developing the first Jazz and Poetry performances in and around New Orleans. Starting at Vernons’, the Afro Music and Dance Co., which now included “Spoken Word” artists, performed at various venues in and around the city. By 1963 the dancers and poets began to fade out. The musicians from The Afro Music and Dance Co. played French Quarter coffee houses, clubs and theaters including Al Hurt’s, the Play Boy Club, and the Royal Arts Theater.

Barely a year later, in 1964, Eluard had a group called the Afro-American Ensemble which performed Jazz and Poetry at The Fencing Masters in the French Quarter. In 1967 Eluard was hired as theater director for Free Southern Theater. There he re-instituted the jazz and poetry performances. In addition, he started writing, acting, music and dance workshops which were directly related to the development of the first Afro Arts Festivals at Dillard, Southern, Xavier, Tulane University’s and University of New Orleans.

By 1969 Eluard had begun to play Afro Music for the mass in local Catholic Churches. He performed and choreographed dancers and school children for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Mass at Xavier University.

In 1970-1971 Eluard worked with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Productions. In 1972 he organized Music and Dance workshops for children and adolescents at St. Marks Community Center. The New Orleans Afro Music Company’s last performance under Eluard was at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in the spring of 1980. From the end of 1980 to the end of 1992 Eluard lived in and traveled both Northern and Southern California. During that time he did an extensive amount of writing, creating a great deal of original music which he played with groups such as N.O. Heritage, a group of New Orleans musician transplants. Since his return to New Orleans at the end of 1992 Eluard has had his finger on the pulse of the local music scene. His home coming gig with Eluard & Co. was at the now defunct Charlie B’s. He has played and /or sat in around town with many of his old cronies as well as many of the youngsters including Irie Vibrations, Banda Logun, PoJazz, Cyril  Neville and The Uptown All-Stars, and of course his own, or collaborative groups. From the fall of 1994, when Eluard developed the Jazz and Poetry Ensemble, he has produced dozens of shows, with not only Jazz and Poetry, but also vocals, dance, Mardi Gras Indians, and occasionally visual art exhibits, around the city. The groups continue to evolve with Eluard and a community of artists. In early 1995 Eluard trained a group of young musicians (ages eight to 22) in a brass and rhythm band. He also provided private instruction for the children of several of his friends both individually and in groups. In the spring of 1995 Eluard played flute on the music score for the movie tentatively titled Follow Me Home. He currently appears prominently in a documentary film on Rap music in freestyle form titled, Freestyle, which will be presented at Sundance. He has done some acting as an extra in a couple of other films. Eluard’s true film interest however is one of his current projects which is to tell the story of New Orleans musicians and their music, circa 1940s & 50s, and the great effect of that music world wide. 

From R & B to Jazz, Rock, Reggae, Hip Hop, and Rap with everything between, many musicians of New Orleans, and Louisiana have had major influence on music around this world. The film will tell this story from a historical, group, and personal perspective.


*   *   *   *   *

Flute master, Eluard Burt, my friend from the early sixties, died  today [Sunday, August 5, 2007].  I’m not exactly sure at what time.  I called his wife Kichea this morning in Englewood, California to return her call of the previous night, and she was still in shock.  He had awakened and said he didn’t feel well, but did not want to go to the hospital.  He died shortly after.

Kichea had just spent a week and a few days with me in New Orleans to look at housing and jobs with the express purpose of getting their family back home.  We would still like to get Eluard back home.

We were both members of The Quorum Club.  My husband and I met him around the same time we met each other.  I remember Eluard  playing an African penny whistle at a patio party at a house on Bourbon Street. Reg was renting the house at the time.  Burt played with Maurice Most’s band at the Quorum Club which was one of the places where we first put poetry and Jazz together,  He also used  to go to The Fencing Masters, a club on Exchange Alley.  He played there.

Eluard had been here most recently with three friends from L.A. They stayed at my house and worked on a documentary about neighborhood sounds in New Orleans.  They met with Shannon Powell and a few other musicians.  I was to do the poem about Pork Chop for them, but we ran out of time.

We also did a CD together of Jazz poems with his band and Claude Bryant producing before the storm.  At the time, Hurricane Ivan scattered the musicians and later Katrina almost destroyed the master CD, but Claude rescued it from his destroyed studio.  He brought me a copy.  It has been edited except for my vocal mistakes.  Claude and I have talked about finishing it, but he’s had a hard time getting his family a place to live.  Maybe we can get it together now. 

Eluard Burt was one of those libraries they talk about. Both in music and poetry.  He knew Bob Kaufman in S.F., and all the great old jazz men. A great loss to our community. 

Burt or Mr. Burt, as he was known by the young musicians and poets he mentored, is survived by his wife Kichea and two sons Eric B. and Eluard Jr.,  and three grandchildren, Rhyan,  Tianna, and Tabitha, which the Burts have been parenting for the last two years.—Lee Meitzen Grue


*   *   *   *   *

In 2001, Eluard & Co released a CD with Eluard & Co titled  Gumbolia.

New Orleans Beat, Second Line, Funk, Jazz, Blues, Global, World Beat and Spoken Word. A flavoring of South East Louisiana Swamp Funk and hip, riveting, fast driving bottom line rhythms under definitive melodies that make your feet move. This CD is a flavorful blend of New Orleans style Funk, Jazz, Blues, and Second Line, and something the local musicians call New Orleans Rhythms both driving and supporting the Flute of the group director, Eluard Burt, II, and the very fine vocalist/poet, Felice Guimont.  


Eluard Burt,II Flute/arranged all songs Eric Burt Percussions Harry Sterling Guitars/arranged on Bright Spot,Each Other Rodger  Poche’ Bass guitar (Deceased June, 2001) Feliz Guimont Vocals/Wrote all lyrics Carlos Martinez Percussions Shannon Powell Percussions on Gumbolia


1.  Gumbolia (3:56) 2.  Ain’t Necessarily So (3:52) 3.  All Blues (6:12) 4.  Caravan (5:49) 5.  Bright Spot (7:07) 6.  Burt’s Lullaby (4:37) 7.  Each Other (5:44)

*   *   *   *   *

In 2000, Eluard A. Burt collaborated with Lee Meitzen Grue to produce Live! On Frenchmen Street

New Orleans music and street life as seen and lived by spoken word artist, with jazz background. Poet Lee Meitzen Grue and flute player Eluard Burt were part of The Quorum Club, the legendary coffee house on edge of the French Quarter during the sixties. They began doing jazz and poetry together at that time. During the last few years they’ve resumed their collaboration with the help of Kichea Burt who engineered the sound on this CD. They’ve performed at Cafe Brasil and other New Orleans clubs and in New York at The Knitting Factory.Grue, who also writes books, has appeared on the college circuit in the U.S. and internationally. She consider these poems “second lines”: Homage to the musicians she follows. There’s an interview with Lee Grue in the (Winter 2001) issue of Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz and Literature. Check it out. Photos, interview, and four pages of poetry. An overview of the jazz and poetry scene in New Orleans. Review of Live! on Frenchmen Street  / To Listen: also

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 – Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 – Don’t Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 – Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 – Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King

#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”

*   *   *   *   *

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama’s political success and Oprah Winfrey’s financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *


*   *   *   *   *






posted 9 November 2007




Home Music  Musicians   Lee Meitzen Grue Table  Tributes Obituaries Remembrances

Related files: For Eluard on his Birthday

Post Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.