HBO Greenlight’s Simon’s New Series TREME & Kermit Ruffins

Livin’ A Tremé Life debuts on the Billboard Jazz Charts this week at #18!

Incredible jazz trumpeter, vocalist, composer, and, now, actor Kermit Ruffins has found himself to be one of the central characters in HBO’s new series, “Tremé”. A drama series set against the unique New Orleans backdrop of second-line parades, brass bands and Mardi Gras Indians. Besides highlighting Ruffins as an artist, the show will bring with it tens of millions of dollars in spending, dozens of jobs and national exposure for the city’s music and culture as it continues to recover from Hurricane Katrina’s damage. A pilot episode written by “The Wire” creator David Simon and co-creator Eric Overmyer was shot in March and April. HBO wasn’t expected to decide the show’s fate for several more weeks, but the rough cut of the pilot that Simon delivered — minus final soundtrack music, which will play a major role in the series — was enough to sell HBO on the series, who have now given it the greenlight!

The series’ first-season story will begin several weeks after Hurricane Katrina and follow its characters — based on real-life models Kermit Ruffins, Donald Harrison Jr. and Davis Rogan, among others — at least through the first Mardi Gras after Katrina. Each season of the series would advance the story one year further from the storm. Ruffins plays himself in the pilot.

To prepare yourself for this destined-for-greatness show, check out Ruffin’s latest release: Livin’ A Tremé Life. Named after the New Orleans neighborhood and lifestyle that’s been essential to the town’s musical and cultural history (as well as Kermit’s home), the album continues the big brass tradition the town is known for. Kermit plays a “sweet, sweet horn,” as Michael J. Agovino of Newsweek notes. His musical stylings resemble the culture of New Orleans, a melting pot, with Jazz, funk, standards and hip-hop. Ruffin’s charisma, both onstage and on his recordings, reflects the spirit of his city. Let his rich, raspy voice and the bright, clean blows on his horn transport you right to the Big Easy.

Congratulations to Kermit and Basin Street on the new show, great performances at this year’s Jazz Fest AND
for debuting on the Billboard Jazz Charts this week at #18!

If you plan on visiting New Orleans be sure to let us know. Kermit would love for you to be his guest. He plays every week at Vaughns and other local haunts! If you are lucky, he may even cook you some raccoon.

You can also experience Kermit and The Barbecue Swingers this summer at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing July 7th.

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